Get a good night of uninterrupted sleep.
You go to bed early, get plenty of shut-eye, but you still don’t feel rested when you wake up. Could snoring be to blame?
While you may not be able to hear yourself snore, you might feel the effects of it the next morning. If you snore habitually, your sleep quality can diminish. This can lead to daytime fatigue and increased irritability, and it can even heighten your risk of developing certain health conditions, including cardiovascular disease.
If you snore, you might have tried various solutions over the years, all promising to stop someone from snoring.Yet, did you consider that there could be dental issues at play? Today, we’re taking a closer look at the unique link between dental health and snoring, empowering you to take proactive steps toward a solution.
What causes snoring?
You know it can be aggravating, but what exactly causes snoring? Put simply, snoring occurs when your airway is semi-obstructed while you sleep. Any time you sleep, your soft palate muscles (located in the roof of the mouth) relax. In addition, your tongue and throat also slacken.
For some people, these muscles can relax too much. In addition, some people have a soft palate that is ultra-low and very thick. Others might have an elongated uvula (the triangular tissue hanging from the soft palate), as well as large tonsils or adenoids.
As air tries to pass through any of these areas, it becomes partially blocked and vibrates instead. This action is what generates the trademark snoring noise. The more narrow your airway, the stronger the airflow needs to be. This can cause an even more forceful movement, which amplifies the vibrations, and causes snoring to become louder.
In addition to anatomical issues, other conditions that can obstruct your airflow and lead to snoring include:
- Chronic nasal congestion.
- The use of alcohol, tobacco or sedatives.
There’s also one important factor that could also influence your likelihood of snoring: your dental health.
How can a dentist stop someone from snoring?
From nose strips to special pillows, there are myriad products that are marketed as snoring cures. Yet, your local dental team might hold all of the answers and solutions you need. Before you begin to research “Dentist near me,” let’s discuss this powerful link.
Disrupted sleep with OSA.
Sometimes, snoring is more than a mere annoyance. If your upper airway becomes partially or completely blocked while you sleep, this can point to a life-threatening condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Patients who suffer from OSA can stop breathing for several seconds during their sleep. Then, they will suddenly awaken with a jolt or a loud gasp. If you suffer from OSA, your dentist can help you determine if there are dental issues that might be attributed to your condition. For instance, your tongue and lower jaw might be relaxing too much. This can block your airway and exacerbate any existing symptoms of OSA.
Snoring and TMD.
Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located on the side of your face. It is positioned in front of your ear and helps keep all of your teeth aligned. If this joint becomes misaligned, it can result in a condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. In most cases, this condition also pushes your lower jaw (mandible) out of alignment, moving it too far back. Patients with this condition also tend to grind their teeth at night, and they might also clench their jaw.
What does this have to do with snoring? While you sleep, your jaw muscles are hard at work, trying to support your jaw even though it’s in an unnatural and improper position. When those muscles relax, your tongue is naturally positioned in the back of your mouth, where it can block your airway. If TMD is to blame for your snoring, your local dentist office can fit you for a mandibular advancement device (MAD). This is a special dental device that helps gently keep your mandible in a forward position. This opens up your airway passage, helps you breathe easier, and keeps your snoring at bay.
Wisdom teeth and snoring.
It might seem like an unlikely pairing, but if you haven’t had your wisdom teeth removed, they could be causing you to snore. This applies to both adults and children. When those teeth do begin to emerge in the back of your mouth, they can crowd the teeth that are already there. In addition, they can cause your other teeth to come in awkwardly. If yours become partially erupted without your dentist’s supervision, the recovery process can be uncomfortable and costly.
Partially erupted wisdom teeth are covered by a tiny flap of tissue that lays on top of them to protect them. If your oral hygiene isn’t up to par, this tissue can become inflamed or infected. This can lead to a condition known as pericoronitis. In addition to snoring, other symptoms of pericoronitis include:
- A bad taste in your mouth.
If you’re experiencing any of these conditions, it’s worth searching online for “Dentist office near me” to find the help you need.
Sleeping with your mouth open.
Is it simply your natural habit to catch flies while you sleep? If you tend to sleep with your mouth open, this could mean that your nasal passages are partially obstructed. When coupled with the inflammation that results from pericoronitis, it could lead to further infection.
Another reason to keep your mouth closed while you sleep? Drifting off with your mouth open could also lead to cavities! This is because it can lead to a condition known as dry mouth. While your mouth normally produces the right amount of saliva to flush bacteria away, when it’s low, the opposite can hold true.
The membranes in a dry mouth offer a great spot for bacteria to enter and hold onto. Over time, this can lead to tooth decay.
Visit our dentist office today.
Are you tired of waking up exhausted? Sick of being asked to roll over in the middle of the night so your partner can get some sleep? None of us mean to snore, but this condition affects a large portion of our population. Before you invest any more resources into relieving your symptoms, talk to your dentist.
A reputable dental professional will know how to stop someone from snoring. They’ll use professional tools and advanced approaches to address the root of the issue, rather than simply offering you half-hearted advice on ways to move forward.
For more information on our snoring prevention devices and other dental services, feel free to get in touch with our team.