Snoring is an odd, often annoying, phenomenon that many people consider normal and nothing to worry about, aside from alienating a sleeping partner. A chronic snoring problem can pose serious risks to a patient’s health by inhibiting proper airflow and forcing the lungs and heart to work harder. Snoring typically occurs when the airway is obstructed by over-relaxed mouth and throat tissues, which vibrate violently as air is forced through the smaller space. In extreme cases, snoring may indicate the presence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)—a sleep disorder that causes the patient to repeatedly stop breathing while asleep as oral tissues completely block the airway. Southlake dentist, Dr. Gregory Wright, has helped many patients that have been diagnosed with sleep apnea through the use of special appliances designed to keep the airway open. If you haven’t been diagnosed with sleep apnea, but would like to learn how you can stop snoring, then try these tips before seeking a professional diagnosis for OSA.
How to Sleep More Quietly
Sleep on Your Side
You’re more likely to snore when you sleep on your back. Sleeping on your side can help you stop snoring by preventing relaxed tissues from collapsing into the airway.
A little alcohol before bedtime is a ritual for many people who believe that a small nightcap will help them sleep better. The truth is that alcohol does help your body relax, including the muscles in the back of the mouth and throat. Drinking alcohol less than four or five hours before bedtime can increase the likelihood of snoring and exacerbate the symptoms of OSA, affecting your overall quality of sleep.
Take an Antihistamine
Sleep can be a much-needed reprieve when you’re suffering from allergies, but agitated sinuses can affect the quality of your sleep, as well. By forcing you to breathe through your mouth, allergies increase your chances of snoring. Take an antihistamine just before bedtime to help clear your nasal passages.
Wear a Custom-Made Mouthguard
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, then Dr. Wright can custom-design a sleep guard that holds the lower jaw slightly forward to prevent airway collapse while the patient is sleeping. A sleepguard is ideal for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea, although more severe cases often require surgical intervention to reshape abnormal oral tissues.
About Gregory Wright, DDS:
As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He is happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment with your cosmetic dentist, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.