DARIEN, IL – If you’re looking to attract a sweetheart this Valentine’s Day, don’t be a snore. More than a quarter of Americans recently confessed that a snoring bed partner makes them annoyed or angry, according to a survey from the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) – with one in five saying a snoring partner could drive them out of bed.
As the most romantic day of the year approaches, Americans who snore frequently may find their special night interrupted and their relationship as a whole at risk. Forty percent of women claim snoring in the opposite sex is a turn-off, and nearly one in 10 Americans went so far as to admit that snoring has hurt at least one of their romantic relationships.
Moreover, snoring, and the bed partner woes that come with it, aren’t isolated to an aging demographic. Generation Xers age 35-44 reported the highest incidence of snoring struggles, with 43 percent claiming a snoring partner steals their sleep, 35 percent saying it ticks them off and 24 percent admitting they want to – or do – sleep in a separate room because of their loved one’s loud snoring.
“Because it can be embarrassing, snoring can often be the elephant in the room when it comes to addressing relationship frustrations and health concerns,” said Kathleen Bennett, DDS, president of the AADSM, the leading organization for dentists who treat sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy. “But it’s important that your significant other is made aware of their snoring – and the effects it has on you, your relationship and their personal health – so they can begin taking steps to remedy it.”
Beyond the Bedroom: The Effects of Snoring on Health
In addition to pushing couples to sleep apart, 45 percent of women said they worry about the health of their bed partner when they snore. Snoring is a tell-tale sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening condition that causes sufferers to stop breathing during sleep for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase the risk for serious health problems from congestive heart failure, high blood pressure and heart disease to diabetes, depression and impotence.
“Sleep apnea is traditionally treated with a continuous positive airway pressure machine, which includes a constantly running motor, tubing and a face mask. CPAP is a great treatment but it can be hard to adjust to and sleep with, and it’s not the only treatment option,” said Dr. Bennett. “Many people are surprised to learn that dentists can help treat sleep apnea with an oral appliance, a device similar to an orthodontic retainer that’s effective, and also less cumbersome and more discreet for the snorer and their partner.”
Oral Appliances: The Attractive Treatment Option
Oral appliance therapy (OAT) uses a small “mouth guard-like” device worn only during sleep to maintain an open, unobstructed airway, making it a “sexier” treatment than a CPAP mask. Single adults surveyed were twice as likely to prefer OAT to CPAP for a bed partner. Custom-made oral appliance devices prevent the airway from collapsing by supporting the jaw in a forward position. OAT is a proven and effective OSA treatment, and the devices also come with the perks of being silent, portable and simple to care for.
“I’ve treated so many couples who claim that oral appliance therapy saved their marriage by giving the snorer more energy and better health, and allowing the partner to sleep better in bed with their sweetheart,” said Dr. Bennett.
To obtain an oral appliance, a patient first must be diagnosed with snoring or obstructive sleep apnea by a physician. Then a dentist can examine the diagnosed patient and provide a custom-made oral appliance. There are more than 100 oral appliances that have received FDA clearance, and the therapy is covered by many medical insurance plans.
If you or your significant other suffers from sleep apnea or loud and frequent snoring, go to www.LocalSleepDentist.com to learn more and find a dentist offering oral appliance therapy locally.
About the Survey
AADSM Snoring Research Survey, Jan. 2015 – Conducted by an independent research firm on behalf of the AADSM, results are based on the responses of 1,009 randomly selected adults, ages 18 and older, living in the United States who completed a telephone survey, Jan. 29 – Feb. 1, 2015. Results are accurate to +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent confidence level and can be generalized to the entire adult population in the United States within those statistical parameters. For more information or a copy of the complete survey and results, contact Jackie Zureich at LCWA: 312/565-4639 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is the only non-profit national professional society dedicated exclusively to the practice of dental sleep medicine. The AADSM provides educational resources for dentists and promotes the use of oral appliance therapy for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing. Established in 1991, the AADSM has more than 3,000 member dentists worldwide. Visit www.aadsm.org or call the national office at (630) 737-9705 for more information.