Dr. Steven M. Miller, DDS, discusses the underlying health risks for chronic snorers and how some simple techniques can help avoid more serious long-term problems
Wellington, FL -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/31/2014 --Wellington, Florida dentist Dr. Steven M. Miller has assembled a database of health problems, risks and treatments that many who regularly snore may suffer from without knowing. Snoring is so common that most consider it an annoyance at worst. In truth, snoring may indicate something occurring in the body that could be serious. Healthy sleep should be silent. Snoring is not a natural function of the body and is indicative of underlying conditions. Unless one is suffering from a cold or allergic reaction which causes congestion, breathing during sleep should be effortless and quiet, just as during the waking hours.
Unfortunately, many American adults (1 in 3) snore regularly, almost every night, and even more (1 in 2) experience occasional snoring. This means that roughly 80 million people snore in the US. In addition to these occurrences in adults, children also snore, with studies showing a rate of almost 1 in 5 children snoring occasionally.
The sound of snoring is the result of a vibration caused by an obstruction of the airway. Snoring is a sign that something’s wrong. Snoring occurs when the uvula, the back of the tongue or the softer tissues of the throat flap as air passes over them. This obstruction in poorly aligned structures causes decreased air flow to the lungs, which in turn results in a lack of necessary oxygen to the brain. At the root of all snoring is airway blockage. Snoring can be a sign of a much more serious condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
OSA is responsible for an increase in risk for the development of diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, and stroke. Many couples with one partner who has sleep apnea report that their partner may stop breathing for more than 10 seconds, a dangerous occurrence that essentially suffocates the brain and body when oxygen is completely cut off. OSA can be identified by an especially loud snoring sound that is periodically interrupted by brief periods of silence. This lack of oxygen and increase in carbon dioxide will cause a partial, traumatic awakening which sounds like a gasping or choking. This pattern often cycles throughout the night, leading to daytime sleepiness and stress.
Medical treatment methods are often most effective when combined with lifestyle adjustments that encourage proper, peaceful, re-energizing sleep. Sleep apnea is a treatable menace for many who are suffering unknown traumas and elevated health risks in addition to the strain that irritating, noisy and even frightening snoring can have on personal relationships between partners.
One common symptom of sleep apnea is erectile dysfunction and decreased libido. Sleep apnea management is possible after an initial consultation and treatment may involve a mouthpiece which realigns the jaws, tongue and soft tissue to the application of a mask which maintains the flow of oxygen to the brain and lungs.
To learn more about how to treat sleep apnea, visit Dr. Miller online at