Doctors used to think that snoring was not medically important. Recent research has shown that snoring is part of a of a chain that extends between healthy breathing and severe obstructive sleep apnea m(OSA).
Snoring is a sign that the air being drawn into your lungs is causing vibration and not flowing smoothly. This is because the walls of the airway are very close together, like the reeds in a wind instrument.
So snoring is a sign that the airway is narrow, which is a sign of possible OSA. OSA reduces the amount of oxygen reaching the brain and body, which causes many medical problems. Louder snoring is a sign of a higher risk of OSA. Loud and frequent snoring is almost always a sign of OSA.
What else does snoring cause?
People who snore can be causing medical and psychological problems in those who are exposed to the snoring. Of course, if you are the snorer, you don't realize the harm you are causing to others.
Snoring may awaken your bed partner many times during the night. Multiple awakenings can cause a number of medical problems. New medical research is showing the relationship between inadequate sleep and weight gain, increased blood sugar levels, cardiovascular disease, memory loss, learmomg disabilities, and daytime sleepiness. Daytime sleepiness causes, among other things, motor vehicle accidents.
Importantly, loud snoring also causes the need for separate bedrooms. Separate bedrooms can be the cause of emotional conflict between partners.
Sleep testing is needed before treatment.
Because many people with loud, annoying snoring have OSA, overnight sleep testing is needed to rule out this disease. We cannot treat you for snoring without you having a sleep study that is evaluated by a certified sleep doctor.
Once you have had a diagnosis, we can help you prevent all of the medical and emotional problems associated with loud snoring by using a removable dental splint that fits over your teeth.