There are many reasons people snore … sinus congestion, allergies, a deviated septum (an abnormality in the wall that separates one nostril from the other), or obstructive sleep apnea (to name a few). Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues in the mouth and/or throat collapse blocking the airway. This can occur many times throughout the night preventing you from getting the hours of sleep you need to function properly throughout the day. Sleep apnea appliances may provide a solution … a consultation with your dentist is a great place to start.
While there are multiple symptoms of sleep apnea, a sleep study is normally needed to provide an absolute diagnosis. And snoring alone is not proof that you are suffering from this malady.
What causes snoring? The simple explanation is while you sleep, air flows through your throat as you breathe. The relaxed tissues in your throat can vibrate. For many the sound is soft, but for others the vibration results in loud, obnoxious noise. This can disturb you and/or your partner so finding a solution can be vitally important. But even more critical is making sure you are not snoring due to obstructive sleep apnea.
If you don’t have a partner to help identify a snoring problem, other symptoms of interrupted sleep might include morning headaches, daytime sleepiness, inability to concentrate, and a change in your mood. Anything that interferes with getting sufficient nightly rest can jeopardize your health.
One solution for snoring is for the patient to be fitted with a sleep apnea appliance fabricated to your specific needs; most often the appliance will work by moving the jaw slightly forward naturally opening the airway, prevent your tongue from falling to the back of your throat and help keep soft throat tissues from collapsing.
Other recommendations include: weight loss (obesity is a major factor), sleep on your side (not your back), elevate your head, open nasal passages with nasal strips, treat an illness that contributes to snoring, avoid alcohol or sleep aids (relaxing exacerbates the problem), limit caffeine, and quit tobacco use.
If you suspect you may be dealing with nightly interrupted sleep, an examination by our dentist is a great place to begin. A sleep apnea appliance is convenient, easy to use, and can provide immediate results allowing you to experience a full night’s sleep.
Contact us to schedule an appointment with our doctors at Parker Read Dental.