What's the difference between Snoring and Sleep Apnea?

Glendale Dentist Serving Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria, and nearby areas in Arizona

According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, approximately 90 million Americans snore during sleep and 22 million suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between snoring and sleep apnea, even if you know the causes and symptoms of both. At Desert Smiles, Dr. Wilcox takes great care to assess and treat his snoring and sleep apnea patients in Phoenix with the most effective methods available.

In general, snoring is defined as the sound caused by a vibration of the soft palate and other tissues in the mouth, nose  and throat. The vibration occurs when the airways in the nose or vocal chords are partially blocked. OSA is a much more serious condition that prevents air from reaching the lungs and causes breathing to stop completely, which can potentially be life threatening.

While the descriptions of these conditions seem straightforward, diagnosis can be tricky, and should always be done by a professional. In addition to a physical exam and an assessment of medical and family histories, Dr Wilcox will sometimes screen his Phoenix snoring and sleep apnea patients with an at-home sleep study.

Fortunately, snoring doesn't always translate to a case of OSA, but it's important to get a professional diagnosis.

If you are a resident of Scottsdale, Peoria, Glendale or Phoenix and you suffer from snoring, contact Desert Smiles Cosmetic and Sedation Dentistry at 602-978-1790 so that Dr. Wilcox can help you get a good night's sleep.

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