While your partner, or even your neighbors, may be annoyed by your snoring, even if you’ve grown accustomed to it, it’s not something that should be ignored.
Snoring is not only an annoyance, it can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea which is a serious condition.
When we sleep, the muscles in our soft palates, tongue and throat relax. When the soft tissues relax enough to partially obstruct the airway, snoring occurs. The more obstructed the airway becomes, the more forceful the air flow becomes which causes an increase in the vibrations of our soft tissue. This can cause the snoring to become even louder!
While snoring is very common, habitual snoring can be a sign of a bigger problem. It can lead to experiencing xerostomia (dry mouth syndrome). A lack of saliva in the mouth can lead to other oral health problems like infection, sores, tooth decay and gum disease. Saliva is needed to coat and moisten the oral tissues and it’s necessary to cleanse the oral cavity.
When saliva is present, it removes the tongue and gums of accumulated dead cells. When a person snores excessively and the mouth becomes dry, this process does not occur and the dead cells decompose. In addition to leaving a bad smell behind, there can be a buildup of bacteria, plaque and other harmful organisms in the mouth. Sleep apnea can also lead to teeth grinding, an increase in cavities, and even inflamed and receding gums.
If you or someone you love is experiencing excessive snoring, give our office a call, and then come in for a fitting for an oral appliance. We work closely with your doctor and a sleep center and together we can determine exactly what help you may need to curb your snoring.