​Do you know the difference between snoring and sleep apnea?

March 23, 2014 | Posted in Sleep | Be the first one to comment

Snoring can be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea but not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Snoring alone can be disruptive and a nuisance. Snoring + sleep apnea can be life threatening.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep breathing disorder that temporarily causes breathing to be suspended during sleep. A physical obstruction happens in the airway which limits the amount of oxygen needed to reach the lungs. In the process of attempting to breathe again due to the obstruction, loud snoring or choking noises are heard.

The oxygen deprivation momentarily awakens a person from sleep. The cycle of waking and falling back to sleep is repeated a few times or hundreds of times throughout the night. The lack of oxygen can have long-term damaging effects such as the development of: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, pre-diabetes and diabetes and depression.

The airway obstruction is actually collapsing tissue in the back of the throat. This can be a result of the muscles of the upper airway relaxing during sleep. In “back sleepers” gravity can sometimes cause the tongue to fall back and obstruct the airway as well. In both situations the airway is narrowed or completely obstructed.
Snoring happens when the extra tissue in the back of the throat vibrates during the flow of breathing which produces the sounds of snoring. It is estimated that about 50% of people snore at some point during their lives. Snoring can be heredity and can increase as age advances. Occasional congestion from cold or allergies may also cause snoring.

Many people with sleep apnea suffer from issues of chronic fatigue, lack of concentration or focus. These are due to “unrestful” sleep resulting from the body unconsciously and repeatedly being awakened during the night because of the struggle for oxygen. 

If you are unsure if the snoring you hear from a loved one is sleep apnea, look for correlating indicators such as excessive daytime sleepiness, gasping during sleep, pauses in breathing, morning headaches, difficulty concentrating, moodiness, irritability or depression and possibly frequent trips to the bathroom at night.

Testing for a sleep breathing disorder is critical to getting a loved one on the path of better health. If you or someone you know experiences any of the other symptoms or indicators that may suggestion the play of sleep apnea, please contact us immediately for help.

Remember that while snoring is annoying, sleep apnea is life threatening. Ask your dentist at Centrum Dental, your Kanata dental centre, about testing for sleep breathing disorders.   


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9-300 Earl Grey Dr., Kanata, Ontario 
K2T 1B8 Canada 

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Occasional Saturdays: 9 am -3 pm

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Mary J., Ottawa

I enjoy and respect the people that work at Centrum Dental, everyone is friendly, helpful and informative.


Vic H, Sttitsville

"I recently saw Suzie for my hygenist appointment, who I have been going to for about 10 years. She explains everything as she goes along and she is personable and friendly every time. The girls at the front desk are similarly pleasant and helpful. Dr. Khoury and his assistants have been great too, always fitting us in for any emergency or appointment change. The new office is bright and beautiful."


Helene A, Kanata

"All parties concerned are most professional and cordial. The dental craft and hygiene are super excellent in every way. The place is clean and inviting one is not afraid that they will shortcut anything to jeoparidize the person's health. Bravo to you all and thank you for the good services rendered."


Serge D., Ottawa

"As usual, the staff is very welcoming as soon as you open the door. Suzie is a great hygienist."


Maureen O., Kanata

As always, it was a positive experience. Having done more of the suggestions I was given from the last cleaning, my gums were better. Just goes to show that one must do what one is advised to do by the professionals, and they are just that at the Centrum Dental Centre. Its always a pleasure dealing with them, and I always come away smiling, which is a good thing coming from the dentist! Keep up the good work!


Christine H., Kanata

"I highly recommend the Centrum Dental centre. For such a skitish patient they always take such good, good care of me. Dr Ghamian is incredible and has always been kind and patient. Perhaps that is why I have referred many of my clients to them year after year."


Ahmed E.

"I almost fell asleep while getting my root canal! The pain was gone in less than a day... and I was able to eat on that side in 2 days! Thank you Dr. Khoury! You're a magician :) Very pleasant staff and experience!"


Dale M., Kanata

"Kim V. was thorough and always helpful in her suggestions/tips. Her highly personable style makes the visit that much more enjoyable. Dr. Ghamien tends to make each patient feel welcome and "not just another appt" regardless of nature or length of visit."


Marc A.

“I highly recommend Centrum Dental. The staff is consistently polite, friendly, professional and available. I have had several procedures done, from fillings to root canals and extractions, and the work is always to my satisfaction. Dr. Khoury is punctual, painless, and always explains procedures. I am entirely satisfied with my experience at Centrum Dental.”


Cade B., Kanata

"Very good experience. This was Cade's first filling without any gas and he did great. Dr. K was so good with him"


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