Whether or not you actively try to stop snoring might depend quite a bit on if you sleep with a partner or not. If no one’s around for your snoring to disturb, then it isn’t much of a problem, right? Actually, not quite; numerous studies have shown that the act of snoring, or rather the mechanisms behind it, can noticeably increase your risk for cardiovascular and other diseases. Snoring is the sound your throat makes when the flow of air through your mouth and nose is partially obstructed. Usually, it’s due to oversized or over-relaxed oral tissues collapsing into your airway, and addressing that obstruction is the key to stop snoring.
Finally, Something You CAN Try at Home
Minor cases of snoring don’t always require professional treatment. Before seeking help at the dentist’s office, try;
- Sleeping on your side to prevent airway blockage.
- Avoid nightcaps. Alcohol can make your muscles and tissues relax more than usual, increasing your risk of snoring.
- Take an antihistamine to alleviate allergies, which can irritate your sinuses and force you to breathe through your mouth.
- Open your nasal passages before going to bed. Taking a hot shower or using nasal strips to lift the passages can help keep your nose open and clear.
In Case it’s More than Just Snoring
Over time, chronic snoring can lead to thicker linings in your carotid arteries; the two large vessels responsible for delivering oxygenated blood to your brain. Besides that, snoring can also indicate a sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. Sleep apnea describes the cessation of your breathing while you sleep, and occurs when oral tissues periodically seal your airway. The brain panics and forces the body to breathe again, restarting a cycle that repeats itself hundreds of times a night. Obstructive sleep apnea can exacerbate problems such as high blood pressure and unhealthy levels of stress and anxiety, and has been associated with increased risks of numerous potentially fatal heart diseases.
At the Dentist’s Office
Professional treatment to stop snoring depends on the nature and severity of each patient’s condition. A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine consists of a mask that provides a nonstop flow of air to keep your airway open. However, if you find it difficult to sleep with the cumbersome mask on, then Dr. Wright or Dr. Heron may recommend a non-obtrusive oral appliance. Called a sleepguard, the appliance can hold your jaw and airway open to prevent obstruction 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 learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.