Snoring is common and can happen to anyone. But snoring is not just an unpleasant night for your bedmate: Snoring can be detrimental to your oral health and may be a symptom of serious health concerns.
What IS Snoring?
Snoring is the sound made when the throat muscles relax during sleep. Many of our muscles relax totally during sleep, but if the deep throat muscles aren't engaged, this can cause problems. In some cases, the tongue can even fall into the throat. Snoring itself can cause dry mouth, and promote over-activity of bacteria in the mouth, causing bad breath, and tooth decay.
What Causes Snoring?
There are many causes of snoring, but they all have one thing in common: an obstructed airway. A common cause of snoring is a deviated septum. Mouth breathing at night is sometimes a result of the inability to breathe through the nose, due to a misshapen nasal septum. The nasal septum is the part of the nose that divides it in half, and if part of it is veering into the other, it causes airway flow problems. This cause of snoring is usually visible to anyone and can be fixed by a surgeon.
However, a more common, and more worrying cause of snoring is obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is any suspension of breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing stops due to obstruction of the airway in the throat. A person with obstructive sleep apnea may present with sensitive teeth, headaches, or dry mouth. Even crooked teeth can affect the bite and lead to airway obstruction.
What Can I Do to Stop Snoring?
Thankfully, we can detect signs of obstructive sleep apnea at our office. Our dentists can assess your make referrals to specialists if need be. In many cases, we can fit you with a special dental device, that can correct the position of your tongue and jaw and help keep your airways open while you sleep. If you snore, it's important to bring this up in your next visit with us.
The first step to a healthy, beautiful smile is to schedule an appointment. Call us today at (972) 591-7520