What Causes Snoring and How Can a Dentist Help?
Are you a snorer? Well if so know that you are not alone. In fact, 1 in 5 Australians confess to be snorers. If they don’t, those who share a house with them won’t be shy in letting them know.
But should something as common as snoring be taken seriously? Is snoring dangerous? What causes snoring? And could a trip to your local dentist be all you need to put your snoring days behind you?
All of this and more you can find in this article.
The Serious Side of What Causes Snoring
There can be a whole host of reasons why someone snores.
But one of the most serious reasons for snoring is Sleep Apnoea. Diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is made by a a specialist Sleep physician using sleep studies. They attach monitors to the body while a person sleeps and the information gathered reveals the quantity, quality and issues present during this important resting stage of our day to day life.
This is a condition where someone’s breathing can stop abruptly while asleep and then start again repeatedly. This may not seem to be a major problem if you never notice. However, it is considered a serious medical condition, and for good reason.
Sleep apnea is linked to type 2 diabetes, heart and liver problems, and more. Added to that, daytime fatigue caused by the condition can have serious knock-on effects. These include irritability, lack of concentration, and as a result an increased risk of being involved in accidents, when micro-sleep has occurred.
Other symptoms include, never feeling like you can get a full night’s rest, waking up with a dry mouth, and having regular morning headaches. If this ticks all your boxes as well as your partner or a family member letting you know that you snore then it is time to get checked out by a physician.
Other Reasons Why You May Be Snoring
There are other reasons for snoring that may surprise you.
One can be genetics or our body composition. What causes snoring for some can be having large tonsils or a narrow airway. In addition, some have an elongated uvula (the tissue in the area around the tonsils) causing them to snore.
Being overweight also is a cause due to an increase in neck fat. This can cause obstructed airways and snoring as a result.
Further, having one too many can also lead one to snore. Yes, abstaining from a welcome nightcap may lead to a better night’s sleep for you and your loved ones. This is because alcohol causes the muscles in the throat to relax, leading to blocked airways, and you guessed it, snoring!
Getting Snoring to Stop
Treatment for snoring may seem unusual to some, as they view it as ingrained in the personality of some people. But knowing that someone or even you snore doesn’t mean that it always has to be that way. A Sleep Physician will usually discuss Obstructive Sleep Apnoea management strategies to improve the quality and quantity of sleep, a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine (CPAP) is the gold standard in managing the disturbance in breathing that is seen in apnoea sufferers. However, some people cannot tolerate the use of this night time device and another device option would then need to be explored.
Another additional management strategy involves weight loss. If you are overweight one of the most effective solutions to prevent snoring is to try and shed the pounds. This will lead to long-term health benefits, as well as greatly reducing snoring. The same applies to cutting back on alcohol consumption.
Did you know that if your snoring has a more sinister cause, like sleep apnea, your dentist may hold the key to stopping your nightmare?
After diagnosis, your doctor may refer you to specialist dentists like us at The Bondi Dentists who have the tools to help. A device called Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) is a custom made dental device worn inside the mouth maybe what you need to help improve your ability to breathe and sleep soundly at night.
Dentists can help with sleep apnoea improvements and prevent snoring in some cases by using these special dental appliances that bring the jaw forward. The MAS prevents the tongue from slipping into the airway and get a better night’s sleep for all.
Silence Is Golden
It is often those who live with a snorer that suffer the consequences of this common trait. However, as we have seen the reasons for what causes snoring can also mean bad news for the person who snores. So, take decisive action to put those ear-splitting nights behind you and get seen by a specialist Sleep Physician. A GP referral is required to see a sleep specialist and have a study conducted.
We at The Bondi Dentist have years of experience in helping people get a better night’s sleep. Reach out to us and see what we may be able to do for you today!