I just recently got married. My wife is panicking over my snoring. She insists it’s dangerous and I need to see a dentist. Why a dentist? Is it really dangerous or is she overreacting? I’ve been snoring pretty much my whole life and seemed to have made it through so far.
Mark L. – Tennessee
First, let me say congratulations on your new union. It’s wonderful having someone to share your life with. I know it seems like your wife if overreacting, but at least you know she loves you. If she didn’t, she wouldn’t care if snoring was dangerous. She’d only care that you’re likely keeping her awake.
Regarding the snoring. Often it is a sign that you have sleep apnea. That is dangerous. Sleep apnea means your throat is being blocked. In mild cases, that leads to snoring. But, there are more serious cases, too, where you stop breathing.
You won’t know you’re doing it because you’re asleep. Your body recognizes you’ve stopped breathing and jolts you awake so you start breathing again. In some patients, this happens over and over throughout the night without you even realizing. One symptom this is happening to you is waking up tired even after a full nights sleep.
As you can imagine, this is stressful to your heart. Patients with sleep apnea, which is left untreated, can end up with heart and blood pressure problems. This is likely what your new bride is referring to.
In many cases, there is a simple fix. A small (and comfortable) orthotic can be worn while you sleep. The device repositions your jaw so your breathing passage is no longer blocked, giving you all the oxygen you need. You’ll find, after treatment, you wake up much more refreshed every day.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.