Stop that snoring!
Have you been told you sound like a motor bike riding through the night or maybe you are waking up tired in the morning? Snoring is not only a disturbance to your partners and those around you sleep, Depending on what’s causing it, snoring can be sign of an underlying problem that can increase your risks for heart attacks, heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
Let us give you some insight on the cause of snoring so you or your loved ones can get the best and most appropriate care to relieve snoring and help prevent serious medical issues.
Why we snore?
When we are sleeping our throat muscles relax and the tissue at the back of the throat can become “loose” and “droopy.” As we breathe through our air way, in and out, these relaxed tissues vibrate and the vibrations are what cause the snoring sound we hear. The narrower the airway the louder the snoring sound can become.
Heavy alcohol drinkers also tend to snore as alcohol relaxes those same throat muscles, even those who don’t normally snore may snore after consuming alcohol. By reducing your alcohol consumption your snoring may also decrease.
Sometimes the snoring can be caused by a cold or allergies and only be temporary. Going to your pharmacy and buying a decongestant can help, or simply just waiting for the cold or allergy to pass.
Even sleeping in a specific position can cause snoring for some people. Switching sleeping positions could be all it takes to stop the snoring.
For a lot of people snoring can still be an issue, even without these other added factors and since Chronic snoring interferes with your breathing night after night, it is so important to get treatment. What causes chronic snoring? Being overweight can sometimes cause chronic snoring but more often, chronic snoring is caused by a condition called sleep apnea
Sleep apnea occurs when the tissues at the back of your throat relax so much that they drop down into your airway, interfering with your breathing. People with sleep apnea actually stop breathing multiple times a night, sometimes for a few seconds and sometimes for much longer. You may be having hundreds of interruptions every night, and they can be so brief, you may not even realize it’s happening.
Each interruption decreases the amount of oxygen getting to your heart, your brain and other organs, increasing your risks for heart attack and stroke. Apnea also increases your risks for diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and mood disorders like depression, and because it interferes with your sleep, you may find yourself feeling sleepy during the day. Daytime drowsiness can interfere with productivity, and it can also increase your risk for serious accidents.
If you have sleep apnea, getting treatment is important not just to stop the annoying snoring, but also to help reduce your risks for medical problems.
How can your dentist help with snoring?
During your consultation you can discuss your specific symptoms and your dentist can offer different approaches to help you end your snoring habit and enjoy much needed restorative sleep. The dentist can also recommend lifestyle changes that can help reduce your snoring, like propping up your head, tricks to help you stay positioned on your side during sleep and other tips that can help relieve snoring.
Many patients benefit from sleep apnoea appliances designed to gently shift the lower jaw forward to keep your airways open allowing you to breathe normally while you sleep which also prevents the snoring. These are custom-fit appliances made of soft material for optimal fit and comfort while you sleep. Patients have noticed a difference after the first night of wearing the appliance.