If you snore, you are in pretty good company. According to the National Sleep Foundation 30 to 50% of the US population snores at some point every night. We know that a lot of people snore, but we still don't know why.
The simple answer to that is that there is an obstruction in your airway when you sleep. This obstruction is explained as being caused by the tongue or soft tissues in the mouth. In other words, when the tissues in the top of the airway hit each other the vibration that results creates a loud noise.
When the noise occurs with short pauses in between, this is usually an indicator of sleep apnea. This can become quite serious because breathing actually stops for brief moments and can have very damaging effects on the body. This condition also causes daytime sleepiness and daily fatigue.
Why Should I go to My Dentist for Help?
If you or your spouse notice a persistent and consistent snoring issue at night, talk to your dentist and explain to them the pattern of the noise that you notice at night and the episodes of your daytime sleep or fatigue.
Your dentist is able to arrange a sleep study for you and be assured that you will be safe during the night. This sleep study will help evaluate and analyze your sleeping patterns and measure your vital signs throughout the night over a 24-hour period. Other suggestions might be to lose weight, as extra weight can cause changes in the structure around your airway, perhaps make changes in your alcohol consumption at night, if that has been an issue in the past, as alcohol can drastically change the quality of your sleep. Reduce or eliminate the use of sedatives, talk to your regular physician about alternatives. Last, but not least, try sleeping on your side with a support pillow and try and stay off your back if at all possible.
We urge you to call us if you are having problems with snoring, we have several resources that can help you with this issue and we are here to help in any way that we can. Thank you!