NPR Piece Examines Snoring, Sleep Apnea

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A recent piece on NPR examines snoring and how it can be a strong indicator of obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep. More than 18 million American adults have sleep apnea, and it occurs in all age groups and both sexes. There are a number of factors, however, that can increase your risk of sleep apnea, such as having a small upper airway (or large tongue, tonsils or uvula), being overweight, or having a recessed chin, small jaw or a large overbite. According to NPR, more dentists have taken an interest in working with patients to identify snoring problems and fitting patients with oral appliances, which can reposition the lower jaw and tongue. Larry Barsh, a retired dentist from New York City, told NPR that dentists are in a unique position to help patients because they typically see the patients more often than physicians.