Greenville, NC Snoring Issues & Prevention
During sleep, the muscles and soft tissues in the throat and mouth relax making the airway smaller. Sometimes the tongue falls back into the throat and obstructs the airway. The decrease in the airway space increases the velocity of the incoming air while breathing. As the velocity of the air increases, soft tissues can begin to vibrate. These vibrations result in the snoring sound and damages the tissues, causing inflammation and edema which further narrows the airway.
Common causes of Snoring include:
- Excessive flabby tissue at the throat
- Nasal congestion from colds, allergies or deformities of cartilage within the nose.
- Supine body position (lying face up)
- Alcohol consumption before going to sleep
The most common cause of snoring, however, is a tongue muscle relaxing too much during sleep allowing the tongue to be sucked back into the airway with each breath.
Is Snoring harmful?
Snoring negatively affects personal relationships and our health. New research suggests that snoring can lead to several health problems, some of which are life-threatening, including:
- Hypertension / high blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disorders
- Heart failure
- Daytime fatigue
- Memory impairment
Snoring reduces the deep, restorative sleep we all need to be healthy. This results in daytime sleepiness, which can negatively affect personal, intellectual, and physical performance during work and other day to day activities.
Obstruction of the airway may also cause the heart rate to fall below normal causing decreased blood oxygen levels. The obstruction will not clear until blood oxygen levels fall low enough to trigger the brain to send a signal for a release of adrenaline to prevent suffocation. The airway obstruction is usually, but tragically not always, broken with a gasp for air and, due to the adrenaline release, an increased heart rate.
How to Prevent Snoring
Today, over-the-counter products, lifestyle changes, surgery, and pharmacological treatments are all used to treat snoring. None of these methods, however, have had tremendous success in eliminating snoring all together.
The most effective way to keep the airway open during sleep is by holding the jaw and/or tongue in a forward position. Dental appliances are becoming the preferred solution for treating snoring and are increasingly being prescribed by physicians and managed by qualified dentists. These traditional mandibular appliances are easy to wear, convenient, and safe. To Learn more about Oral Appliance Therapy click here.
Do you snore and want to know if you can do something about it?
Call Greenville Dental Sleep Center in Greenville, NC today at (252) 355-2300 to make an appointment!