Is your partner keeping you up with their snoring?
Sleeping with a snoring partner is no joke. Disturbed sleep can easily take a toll on marriages – and your health. Sleep-deprived brains lose memory, suffer loss of visual perception, and are slower to react. Not to mention tiredness can increase the likelihood of car accidents, irritability, and bad decision making. If your partner is keeping you up with their snoring, you need to take them to a… dentist? Skeptical about going to a dentist for sleep apnea? Read on.
Snoring is usually caused by obstructive sleep apnea – a fancy way of saying the airways are being obstructed during sleep. This leads to snoring and causes both snorer and their partner to awaken repeatedly.
What causes snoring?
A person snores when breathing through the mouth and nose is blocked. This can be because of:
- Partially or completely blocked nasal airway
- Throat tissue compressing airways
- Throat and tongue muscles too relaxed
- Overlong palate or uvula
Adverse health effects of snoring
Snoring is not just an inconvenience; it can have serious health consequences for the patient. Waking frequently from sleep causes tiredness and mood swings. It has a dramatic impact on quality of life and productivity. Frequent waking can lead to light sleeping, which is less restful. If obstructive sleep apnea is left untreated, it can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of stroke and heart attacks.
How a dentist can treat snoring
Dentists are often the first to diagnose and treat obstructive sleep apnea. Oral health, the shape of the mouth, and the condition of the throat and tongue can tell a lot. Here are a few ways in which dentists can treat snoring:
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) – A CPAP is an oral appliance that actively keeps the breathing passages open as you sleep. A mask connects via a tube to a breathing apparatus which ensures gentle blowing of pressurized air that keeps the airways open. A variety of masks are available for wearers to get comfortable with.
TMJ alignment – A misaligned temporomandibular joint can cause patients to clench their jaw at night. When the muscles do relax, it causes the tongue to obstruct airflow, causing snoring. Dentists can use medication, mouth guards, physical therapy, and minimally invasive surgical procedures to correct or relieve TMJ.
Reposition jaw for sleep – Mandibular advancement devices (MAD) are essentially mouth guards that gently massage the lower jaw forwards. This reduces or removes the obstruction and cures snoring. MAD are some of the most common oral appliances that are used for curing snoring.
Tongue retainer – As the name suggests, this device keeps the tongue in place during sleep. This prevents it from obstructing the airways at night. It can be particularly effective for people who sleep on their back.
Other health conditions and teeth
Is snoring a health problem?
Snoring occasionally does not pose health risks, though it could be a sign of developing health problems. However, if you or your partner are being kept up night after night because of regular snoring, it is a sign of obstructive sleep apnea.
Can dental problems cause snoring?
Yes, dental issues and oral problems can cause snoring. A lack of saliva, misshapen, or obliquely placed wisdom teeth, and narrow jaw can all cause snoring.
Can your dentist help with snoring?
Your dentist is best placed to diagnose and suggest snoring solutions. Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common cause of snoring, usually stems from oral issues. A dentist will work with you to identify the most comfortable and most effective solution for you to manage and cure your snoring. Schedule an appointment with a Dawson Dental clinic near you today. With over 25 dentist’s offices, you are sure to find one within 15 minutes of you.