Have you ever gasped awake in the middle of the night? Has your partner complained that you are a noisy sleeper? Snoring can disrupt the sleep patterns of you and your loved ones. But while it can seem annoying, it may also lead to health problems if it continues.
Though you can talk to your doctor about this sleep issue, your dentist might help you resolve a snoring problem too. Read on to learn more about chronic snoring and the habit’s impact on your oral health.
What Causes Loud Snoring?
Snoring stems from the relaxation of the muscles at the back of the throat during deep sleep. The soft tissue can then partially block your airway and vibrate as air attempts to pass through. This produces a loud sound known as snoring.
If these tissues completely block your airway as they relax, you will not be able to breathe. Some people experience brief periods in which breathing cessations occur due to this blockage. This condition is called sleep apnea.
Many factors can cause snoring and sleep apnea. Sometimes the shape of the mouth and palate can lead to these sleep problems, as well as lifestyle concerns like obesity or alcohol consumption. If you or your partner notice that you snore regularly or have breathing cessations during the night, do not ignore the issue.
Will Snoring Habits Lead to Oral Health Concerns?
Snoring as well as sleep apnea can lead to several medical concerns, including for your oral health. While the short periods of ceased breathing with sleep apnea are not inherently life-threatening, the continued respiratory interruptions will lead to dangerous health risks.
If you strain and cannot get enough air into your lungs, this puts pressure on your heart. You can develop issues with blood pressure and heighten your risk of a stroke or other emergency. And if you get low-quality sleep or not enough sleep, you could develop cognitive issues. Not only will you feel groggy, but you could have mental health, behavioral, and memory issues.
You may also notice problems with your oral health if you have chronic snoring and sleep apnea. Many of these patients sleep with their mouths open, which can dry out the mouth.
Dry mouth allows bacteria to spread easily across the teeth, heightening the risk of oral infections like gum disease. If this infection progresses, patients may face tooth loss and other irreversible dental issues.
Can My Dentist Treat My Snoring?
If you realize that you snore regularly or have sleep apnea symptoms, you should not ignore this problem. You can talk to your general practitioner to treat the problem. They may recommend lifestyle changes or the use of a CPAP machine, which may all have beneficial results.
However, your dentist can also treat sleep apnea with a simple solution. They can give you a custom-made night guard to wear as you sleep. This appliance can keep the jaw in a comfortable position as you sleep which can prevent the soft tissues from collapsing.
This way, you can stop the cause of snoring and sleep apnea and keep your airways clear. You can prevent many major health issues with this treatment and ensure your smile looks and feels its best.