If You're Keeping Your Partner Awake at Night, It May Be Time to Try Oral Appliance Therapy

Many couples have issues with sharing a bed because of a partner’s noisy sleep habits. However, snoring isn’t something anyone does on purpose. In many cases, there could be a medical reason for snoring and snorting while asleep — and if there’s a medical cause, there is a solution.

Sleep apnea: the enemy of bed-sharing

Everyone knows that dried out sinuses or a head cold can lead to occasional snoring. However, if you are keeping your bedmate awake nightly with loud snoring and snuffling, you might want to be tested for sleep apnea. This common condition affects around 25% of men and 10% of women.

Sleep apnea is a condition in which the muscles of the jaw and throat relax, and the back of the tongue pushes against the back of the throat. This closes the airway for a moment, until the brain subconsciously kicks in a panic response and causes you to inhale sharply. The gasp can sound like a snore or snort.

You will often not even wake up, but this cycle of breathing interruption and startle response can last all night and keep you from getting much-needed deep sleep. In addition, your companion may either be awakened repeatedly by the noise, or be unable to fall asleep beside you at all.

CPAP for sleep apnea

For many people with sleep apnea, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is the prescribed answer. The device includes a mask that fits over the nose and mouth and straps around the head, and a bedside machine that connects to the mask via a hose and pushes a steady current of air.

Many people find it impossible to sleep with a CPAP machine. However, untreated sleep apnea doesn’t just threaten relationships, it can threaten your quality of life as well. Lack of oxygen and sleep at night leads to fatigue and irritability, and can make conditions like heart disease, asthma, and high blood pressure worsen.

Oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea

A less cumbersome way to deal with sleep apnea is with an oral device designed and fitted by a dentist. The device is carefully fabricated to fit your mouth perfectly, and hold your jaw in the correct position to keep your airway open. This oral appliance therapy approach can effectively resolve your sleep apnea symptoms — and bring your partner back to your bed.

If you are ready to stop the cycle of snoring and marital strife, contact La Michoacana Dental Clinic for a sleep apnea consultation. You can make an appointment by phone, or book your consultation online at either of our two Houston locations.  

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