Your sleeping partner’s glares and complaints about the noise should be a good reason to try and stop snoring. If you don’t sleep with a partner, however, that doesn’t mean that your snoring habit is harmless. The noise is caused by a restriction in your breathing that forces the walls in your throat to vibrate. Aside from the raucous sound, snoring can also increase your risk for a number of systemic diseases associated with chronic sleep and oxygen deprivation.
What Does Snoring Mean for Your Health?
Have you ever squeezed the end of a full balloon until the air escapes at a high-pitched shriek? When you snore, it’s usually because the tissues in your mouth and throat are partially blocking your airway, forcing your breath through a similarly-pinched space. As your body works harder than normal to deliver oxygen-rich blood to your brain and heart, persistent snoring can intensify your risk of certain health conditions, especially cardiovascular issues. Researchers at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit suggest that chronic snoring can lead to abnormalities like thickening in the carotid artery, a precursor to arterial heart disease.
Introducing Sleep Apnea
For some patients, snoring holds more danger than the Henry Ford Hospital study suggests, mainly if it’s an indication of obstructive sleep apnea. Known as OSA for short, sleep apnea occurs when your oral tissues completely block your airway, causing you to stop breathing in your sleep. Your mind panics when it lacks oxygen, and will wake your body to restart the breathing process. Usually, though, you won’t wake from consciousness, and even if you believe you’re sleeping soundly, the repeated cycles can prevent you from entering the deep stages of sleep you need.
How to Stop Snoring
Given the dangers of untreated snoring and OSA, many patients are relieved to learn that they can stop snoring with help from their general dentist. If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, or wish to stop snoring to improve your quality of sleep, then Dr. Wright can help. In most cases, he can custom-design an oral appliance that holds your lower jaw in a slightly-forward position, preventing airway blockage from collapsing oral tissues.
About Your Southlake Dentists:
As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.