April 23rd, 2014
Are you often told that you snore in your sleep? If so, you are not alone! Snoring is a common problem that can be caused by many factors. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, approximately 30 to 50 percent of individuals within the United States snore during their lifetime. Snoring not only affects your physical health, but also your oral health!
Snoring happens when air struggles to move freely through the nose and mouth during sleep. Snoring is often a result of abnormalities of the soft tissues in the mouth. Narrowing of the airway during sleep could cause tissues at the top of the airway to hit each other, resulting in a vibration and a loud noise. This noise can range from a soft wheezing to loud whistling sounds and can suggest breathing problems that interrupt sleep.
Dry mouth is a direct result of snoring. Snoring causes a lack of salivary flow, which is essential for coating the oral tissues. According to the American Dental Association, A lack of saliva due to snoring can lead to several other oral health problems, including bad breath, burning mouth syndrome, infections, mouth sores, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. Saliva acts as a buffer by neutralizing the acids produced by plaque. Saliva helps wash away food particles, cleanse the oral cavity of dead cells that create odors, and eliminate bacteria within the mouth. Snoring can also be a symptom of sleep apnea, which has damaging effects on the body. Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that involves short breaks of breathing during sleep.
Some common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Gasping for air that causes a break in sleep
- Morning headaches
- Mood changes
- Sore throat
- Dry mouth
- Attention problems
To avoid such problems, dentists can be a good source of help! Snoring and sleep apnea can be treated by using dental devices. The mandibular advancement device, also referred to as oral appliance therapy, is widely used to treat sleep apnea and snoring. Resembling a sports mouth guard, it helps keep the lower jaw down, which helps to keep the breathing airway open. Dentists can perform a polysomnogram, also known as a sleep study, which analyzes your sleeping patterns throughout the night. Also, a tongue-retraining device helps to treat sleep apnea by positioning the tongue in order to keep the breathing airway open. Orthodontic treatments, including rapid maxillary expansion, can provide additional help, especially for those with a narrow upper jaw. This nonsurgical treatment will reduce nasal pressure by tightening the upper teeth with the application of a screw device on the upper jaw. These oral devices can be useful in reducing the frequency of snoring, thereby improving your sleep patterns and oral health.
It is important to practice good oral hygiene in order to reduce your risk of developing these oral health problems. With the support of a dental professional, the issue of snoring issue and sleep problems can be resolved!
Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment and consultation.