Snoring is typically seen as just a common part of sleeping, and for the most part, it is. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, roughly 45% of adults do so occasionally while 25% snore regularly. In many cases, it is nothing to think twice about, but it can also be indicative of larger health issues — namely, sleep apnea. In today’s blog, your Greenville, TX, dentist discusses the causes of snoring, how to know when it might reflect a health issue, and the remedies available to you.
What Causes It?
Chronic snoring is caused by a wide range of factors. For starters, the anatomy of your head and neck can affect it. A deviated septum increases the likelihood of sleeping noisily, as does the presence of polyps in nasal passages. Moreover, having a small jaw or an enlarged tongue and tonsils can also contribute. Congestion is also a factor, as it restricts your airways. Going to sleep after drinking or taking sedative medicine can cause it, too, by relaxing the muscles surrounding your airways. Smoking cigarettes is also tied to it; researchers suspect this stems from the inflammation of one’s upper airways. In more severe situations, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the culprit.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
It is a blockage that occurs in your airways, stemming from the muscles in the back of your throat relaxing too much. This ultimately causes those suffering from it to briefly stop breathing. When this happens, your brain snaps you awake and gasp for breath, interrupting your sleep. Though you probably won’t know you’re waking up, you still are. This cycle of falling asleep and waking up often occurs hundreds of times throughout the night. Unsurprisingly, this wreaks havoc on your sleep, causing excessive tiredness and other health issues.
How Can You Fix It?
Luckily there are viable solutions that can help minimize your snoring — regardless of the root cause. One of the easiest and most effective ones is a custom-fit sleep appliance. It is similar to a mouthguard, and you wear it while you sleep. It keeps your lower jaw moved forward, which ultimately ensures your airway stays open. To see if this is, in fact, the best option for you, we can conduct an at-home sleep assessment, using a device called the WatchPAT ONE. You simply wear it while you sleep, while it collects information about your slumber. From there, we can determine the best treatment for you.
Have More Questions About Snoring?
If you have questions about snoring, please contact Dental Sleep Solutions of Greenville by contacting our office at 903-455-0516. We would love to help you or a loved one find nighttime relief. You can also find us at 4818 Wellington St. Suite #3 Greenville, TX 75402.