Snoring is more than just a nuisance to bed partners. It can also signify a serious condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
What Is OSA?
OSA is a sleep-related disorder characterized by temporary breathing interruptions during sleep due to a partial or complete upper airway obstruction. Since OSA reduces oxygen levels and poor sleep quality, it causes excessive daytime sleepiness and decreased quality of life.
What Are the Risk Factors?
The risk of developing OSA increases as people grow older. Aging decreases the throat’s muscle tone, making it easier for the airway to collapse during sleep.
Men have narrower airways, more collapsible pharyngeal tissue, and larger neck circumference than women. These anatomical differences make men more likely to develop upper airway obstruction during sleep.
A larger neck circumference increases a person’s likelihood of developing OSA because a larger neck can cause the upper airway to narrow. Men with neck sizes over 17 inches or more and women with a neck circumference of 16 inches or more are at higher risk of OSA.
Obesity causes the fat deposits in the neck to narrow the airway, making it more difficult for air to flow in and out while the person is sleeping.
Studies suggest a genetic component to OSA due to certain genes that may influence the airway’s anatomy and function, making it more likely to collapse as the person sleeps.
Sleeping on the back increases the risk of OSA because it causes the tongue and other soft tissues of the mouth and throat to collapse and block the airway.
Drinking alcohol, smoking, and using sedatives can irritate and narrow the airway, increasing the risk of OSA.
What Is the Best Snoring Treatment in Phoenix, Arizona?
Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs) treat OSA by holding the lower jaw and tongue forward during sleep to keep the airway open.
At All in One Benso Family Dental in Phoenix, Arizona, we offer custom-fit MADs to patients with OSA. Book an appointment with us today.