The National Sleep Foundation of the United States found that between 30%-50% of the population snore throughout their lifetime.
What is Snoring?
Snoring occurs when the tissues of the nose and throat vibrate as air (attempts) to pass through them as you breathe. This creates a hoarse, sometimes harsh groaning sound from you or your loved (or unloved) ones.
Keep in mind, excessive snoring may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, so it’s important to get it checked out if you think it might be an issue for you.
Excessive snoring happens when the tissues in your nose and throat vibrate as you breathe. This can create a loud, sometimes unpleasant noise that you or your loved ones might hear. It’s important to note that snoring, especially if it’s too much, could be a sign of a condition called obstructive sleep apnea. This is a serious condition where breathing stops and starts repeatedly during sleep. If you’re worried that snoring might be a problem for you, it’s a good idea to get it checked out by a healthcare professional. They can help figure out if there’s an underlying issue that needs attention.
How a dentist can help:
Next time you’re at the dentist, ask about yourself or your loved one’s snoring! your dental specialist can provide recommendations to help ease snoring. This might involve simple lifestyle change, to using an oral appliance.
Your dentist might suggest you:
- Lose weight
- Not consume alcohol at night
- Avoid sleeping on your back
- Eliminate or reduce the use of sedatives
Specifically, when it comes to snoring or potential sleep apnea, a dentist may offer assistance through the following ways:
Oral Appliances: Dentists can provide custom-made oral appliances, often referred to as mandibular advancement devices or splints. These devices are designed to reposition the jaw and tongue to help keep the airway open during sleep, reducing snoring and, in some cases, alleviating symptoms of sleep apnea.
Evaluation of Oral Structures: Dentists are trained to assess the oral cavity and its structures. They can identify factors such as enlarged tonsils or issues with the soft palate that may contribute to snoring or obstructed breathing during sleep.
Collaboration with Sleep Specialists: Dentists may collaborate with sleep medicine specialists to diagnose and manage sleep-related breathing disorders. This collaborative approach ensures a comprehensive understanding of the issue and the most effective treatment options.
Advice on Lifestyle Changes: Dentists can provide guidance on lifestyle factors that may contribute to snoring, such as weight management, alcohol consumption, and sleep position. Making adjustments in these areas can sometimes help reduce snoring.
We might suggest the need for an oral appliance to reduce mild to moderate snoring or sleep apnea. These devices gently, but effectively reposition your jaw and stabilizes your tongue to promote proper airflow during sleep.
- Noninvasive: The process does not necessitate the need for surgery as fitting and following-up are quite simple.
- Ease of use: Some patients prefer using oral appliances for their sleep apnea because they are comfortable to wear. Also, it does not take them too long to get used to sleeping with the device in their mouth
- Small and portable: this equipment makes travelling with your sleep apnea treatment easy. Unlike the CPAP, these oral devices are small enough to fit in a carry-on bag or a purse.
- High success rate: Oral appliance therapy has a high success rate as the users do not have to worry about issues such as stuffy nose, rash around the mask area or dryness. All of these problems are avoided when they use oral appliance therapy.
Understanding the causes and potential health implications of snoring is vital for overall well-being. While snoring is a common occurrence, persistent and excessive snoring may signal underlying issues such as obstructive sleep apnea, which warrants attention.
Seeking the assistance of a dentist can be beneficial in addressing snoring concerns. Dentists can offer tailored solutions, including the use of oral appliances, evaluating oral structures, and collaborating with sleep specialists to ensure a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, they may provide valuable insights into lifestyle modifications that can contribute to improved sleep quality.
If you or a loved one is dealing with persistent snoring, consulting with a healthcare professional, particularly a dentist or sleep specialist, is crucial for a thorough evaluation and the development of an effective management plan. Prioritizing sleep health not only enhances the quality of rest but also contributes to overall physical and mental well-being.
To sum it up, recognizing and addressing snoring is crucial for overall health. Dentists play a key role in this process by offering personalized solutions like oral devices and collaborating with specialists to understand and manage sleep-related issues. Their involvement goes beyond clinical aspects, as they guide individuals on lifestyle changes that contribute to better sleep.
This approach reflects a holistic view of healthcare, acknowledging the links between oral health and overall well-being. When individuals and healthcare professionals work together, it’s not just about solving snoring issues but actively promoting better sleep and comprehensive health.