How Can You Stop Snoring?
If you snore when sleeping, you are not alone. About half of the adult population snores. Snoring is a common phenomenon that occurs when you cannot move air freely through the nose and throat. This causes the tissues to vibrate, creating a snorting or grunting sound. Nearly everyone snores at some point because of factors like poor sleeping position. However, when you have chronic snoring that is disrupting your lifestyle, then it’s time to look for a solution to stop snoring.
What Causes Snoring?
People snore for various reasons and it is important to understand the source of your snoring problem and seek suitable treatment.
- The anatomy of the mouth. Having a low and thick palate can cause the airway to become narrow. The thickness of the palate can be influenced by extra fat in the back of the throat. That is probably the reason why obese and overweight people snore often. Also, if your uvula (elongated tissue at the back of the mouth) is longer than normal, it can obstruct airflow.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This is when your breathing suddenly stops when you are sleeping because the throat muscles temporarily stop. OSA causes loud snoring among other symptoms.
- Alcohol consumption. When you take too much alcohol you can snore. This is because alcohol relaxes the throat muscle, thereby decreasing the natural defenses against airflow obstruction.
- Nasal problems. Chronic nasal congestion or deviated nasal septum may also contribute to snoring.
- Sleep position. Snoring is the loudest and most frequent when sleeping on your back as the gravity force narrows your airway.
- Age. As we age and reach middle age, the throat becomes narrower and the muscle tone in your throat reduces. This increases the risk of snoring.
Obesity, gender (occurs mostly in men), and having a history of snoring are factors that can increase the risk of snoring.
Snoring is not an issue unless it begins to affect your health and the quality of sleep of your partner or family. Visit our dentist in Aurora when you wake up with daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and sore throat. It could be a sign of OSA and you need treatment.
How Can You Reduce Snoring?
There are several remedies or treatments that the dentist can use to stop snoring and they include:
If your snoring is accompanied by Obstructed Sleep Apnea, devices can help open your mouth and reduce snoring:
- CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure is a mask that is worn over the nose or mouth when sleeping. This device keeps your airway open to make breathing smooth.
- Oral appliances are a form-fitting mouthpiece that positions the jaw, tongue, and soft palate to keep the airway open. These appliances are ideal for people who do not like the CPAP. If you choose oral appliances, you will also need to work with a dentist to optimize the fit and position. The dentist will make sure the oral appliance works as intended. You may need to visit the dentist every six months during the first year to have the fit checked.
Expect to have excessive salivation, jaw pain, dry mouth, and facial discomfort when wearing these appliances.
2. Lifestyle changes
To prevent snoring, try the following:
- Lose weight. Shedding a few pounds may get rid of the excess tissue from the throat. This will make the airway open and promote proper breathing.
- Change your sleeping position. Sleeping on your back allows the tongue to fall backward into the throat, which narrows the airway. Try sleeping on your side, and see if your airways will open.
- Elevating your head has been shown to reduce snoring because it keeps the airway open.
- Treat the allergies that reduce airflow through the nose, causing you to breathe through the mouth. Talk to your doctor or dentist on how to address the allergies.
- Limit your use of sedatives and alcohol. These substances cause your throat muscles to relax, which affects your breathing too.
Schedule an Appointment
Visit Aurora Dental Studio for more information on our snoring prevention services in Aurora, ON.