What is snoring & Why does it Happen?
Everyone knows what snoring sounds like. Even children make snoring sounds when they pretend to sleep. The reality is that millions of people suffer from snoring and sleep apnea. Even if you recognize what snoring sounds like, you may now know why it occurs.
Snoring happens when air flows past relaxed tissues in your throat, causing the tissues to vibrate against each other as you breathe. The harsh sounds are caused by those vibrations. Most people will snore from time-to-time and it can be bothersome for their partner, but chronic snoring can be a serious problem. Snoring can also be an indicator of a more serious health condition including sleep apnea.
When to see a Dentist about snoring?
Although most snoring is not life threatening, some symptoms from snoring and sleep apnea can indicate more serious health issues. These symptoms include:
- Loud snoring
- Your breathing stops while you sleep
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Awakening with a dry mouth
- Morning headache
- Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
- Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)
- Difficulty paying attention while awake
If you are concerned about the health risks associated with snoring and sleep apnea, please talk to Dr. Wolter during your next dental exam. Dr. Wolter can help you find a solution depending on your symptoms that fits within your oral hygiene routine.
How Can My Dentist Help Me With Snoring?
Dental sleep medicine focuses on the use of oral appliances to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is when the muscles at the back of your throat relax which allows other tissues to block your airway. Sometimes your tongue is the culprit that blocks your airway. Oral appliance therapy is a method of using devices designed to keep your airway open and have you sleeping comfortably through the night.
Oral appliance therapy involves wearing a removable oral piece, which fits like a mouthguard or retainer, as you sleep. There are several types of oral appliances to treat obstructive sleep apnea. Although each device may look slightly different, there are only two main types of oral appliances: Mandibular Repositioning Devices and Tongue Retaining Devices. These devices are removable oral devices that are simply applied, portable, and easily maintained. You can learn more about them by reading our Sleep Apnea article.
Regardless of your specific situation, Dr. Wolter and the Wolter Advanced Dental Care team are available to help you find the right solution for your health and your lifestyle.