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1401 Hospital Drive, Suite 102, Hurricane, WV 25526
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Is snoring normal?

Most people snore to some extent. Generally, snoring is quite normal. However, chronic snoring that is extremely loud and bothersome to others, and/or accompanied by gasps or interrupted breathing, is not normal. If this describes you, please contact our office for an evaluation. Once diagnosed, we can manage your sleep-disordered breathing problem so that you can enjoy the benefits of recuperative sleep.

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Do men snore more than women?

Four out of every ten men snore compared to roughly three out of ten women. Some doctors believe the number of women who snore (and have sleep apnea) may be understated. This may be because women often present with symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, morning headaches, mood disturbances and weight gain that are not specific to sleep-disordered breathing. Consequently, women are less likely to be referred for further evaluation and their sleep-disordered breathing problems are frequently misdiagnosed. This is why we evaluate the airway of every patient we see in our office, male and female alike.

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Is it normal for children to snore?

No. If your child snores, be sure to bring this to Dr. Bailey’s attention so that we can complete a sleep screening examination. If warranted, treatment of snoring and other sleep-disordered breathing problems in children have been shown to help with everything from improved school performance to elimination of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and nighttime bedwetting.

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Is snoring dangerous?

While is often considered a mere nuisance, snoring should be taken seriously by patients and their doctors. At a minimum, snoring can prevent you and your bed partner from enjoying the benefits of recuperative sleep. This includes REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is the phase of sleep associated with the body’s ability to heal, repair and rejuvenate itself. Beyond causing fatigue, daytime sleepiness and marital discord, untreated snoring has been linked to increased risk of high-blood pressure, carotid artery atherosclerosis and stroke. It can also be a sign that you are suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea, which is a potentially life-threatening disorder that deprives your body of vital oxygen during sleep. These are just a few reasons why you should discuss snoring plus any other sleep-related concerns with Dr. Bailey, who can use her knowledge, skills and experience to provide the individualized care you need to sleep well and be well.

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Why do some people snore more loudly than others?

Body structure and anatomy of the mouth and its surrounding structures cause some people to snore more loudly than others, which is why Dr. Bailey complemented her knowledge of dental sleep medicine with advanced training in the elements of dentistry related to jaw joint pain and dysfunction.

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Is oral appliance therapy an effective solution for snoring?

Yes. In fact, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine states that oral appliance therapy should be the first interventional therapy for snoring and mild-to-moderate sleep apnea. Oral appliances move your lower jaw forward and prevent your tongue from falling backward, keeping your airway open during sleep. To be effective, however, oral appliances must be custom-fit and calibrated to each patient by an experienced dentist like Dr. Bailey who understands the temporomandibular joint (i.e., jaw joint) as well as dental sleep medicine practice parameters and protocols.

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If I snore but do not have sleep apnea, do I still need treatment?

Studies have shown that even primary snoring (i.e., snoring without apnea) is linked to carotid artery atherosclerosis, which is a leading cause of stroke. Without an examination, we cannot determine if your snoring requires treatment. However, anyone who snores will benefit by scheduling an appointment for a thorough sleep evaluation that can be performed quickly and easily in our office.

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If I stop smoking, will that help?

Yes. Smoking contributes to congestion of your throat tissues. Smoking also increases acid secretion in your stomach, which can cause acid reflux that can negatively affect throat tissues, obesity, aging and hormonal factors. If you are a smoker, Dr. Bailey is happy to recommend a smoking cessation program that has proven beneficial for many of her snoring and sleep apnea patients.

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If I stop drinking, will that help?

Yes. Consumption of alcohol, particularly at night, can lead to increased snoring. If you snore, you should avoid alcohol for at least 4 hours before bedtime. This is just one example of a lifestyle change that can enhance your results from treatment in our office. Dr. Bailey may also recommend additional health and wellness strategies tailored to your specific needs as part of your overall treatment plan.

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What can I do to help mild to occasional snoring?

Anyone who snores will benefit from a consultation with a dentist, such as Dr. Bailey, who has experience in managing sleep-disordered breathing problems. Here are some things you can do in the meantime:

  1. Sleep on your side; not on your back.
  2. Raise the head of your bed upward by approximately 4 inches.
  3. Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages for at least 4 hours before bedtime.
  4. Avoid consuming heavy meals and snacks for at least 3 hours before bedtime.
  5. Adopt a healthy lifestyle, which includes exercise to develop good muscle tone.
  6. Lose weight (a few as 5-10 pounds can make a difference)
  7. Establish a regular sleep routine; go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.

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Should I consider surgery for snoring?

In the vast majority of cases, the answer is “No.” In fact, the American Association of Sleep Medicine recommends that patients who snore try conservative (reversible) treatment options, such as the oral appliance therapy we provide in our office, before undergoing any surgical procedure. We are happy to provide a second opinion if surgery has been prescribed for you. We also stand ready to assist patients who have not attained the benefits from surgery they anticipated in getting the care they need to sleep well.

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1401 Hospital Drive, Suite 102, Hurricane, WV 25526 USA
Jeanne K. Bailey, DDS Sleep, TMJ and Craniofacial Pain Treatment Center in West Virginia (304) 757-7428 (304) 757-3535