Is snoring ruining your or your partner’s slumber? If yes, you must understandably be very disturbed because of the loud raspy noise that is cutting your sleep short. A healthy adult requires a peaceful sleep of 7-9 hours to maintain mental and physical health. Regular sleep disturbance affects the quality of sleep, as snoring seems to worsen with age. You may even wake up from the noise of your snore. Snoring is common and happens to most of us at some point in time.
It is not considered a disorder but a condition that comes with many underlying issues, including sleep disorders.
This article will help you understand the basics of snoring and possible solutions.
What is snoring?
The process begins with inflamed or irritated tissue blocking the airway. When that happens, your brain sends a signal for your mouth to open wider to allow an increased flow of air. The mouth opens wider creating friction among the tissues, nasal cavity, and tongue. This whole process produces a snore.
Why do you snore?
Age: As you cross mid-age, the muscles of your throat start to shrink, making it narrower. You can’t do anything about age however, people who have healthy lifestyles, and disciplined bedtime routines complain less about snoring.
Obesity: Fatty tissue contributes greatly to increased snoring; a thicker neck might mean a narrower airway. Sometimes weight loss and exercising are all it takes to fix a snoring problem
Genetic Makeover: You may have certain genetic conditions, such as enlarged adenoids, a narrow throat passage, and tightened nasal cavity that contribute to snoring. While these cannot be treated, they can be managed through effective lifestyle changes.
Treat Nasal congestion: A stuffy nose and inflamed sinuses make breathing difficult, allowing a vacuum in the upper airway and resulting in snoring.
Medications: Many muscle relaxants and clinical sleep medicine, such as lexotanil, diazepam, Ativan, etc, might lead to more snoring. Alcohol and smoking are also discouraged when trying to limit snoring.
Sleep apnoea is a potentially life-threatening sleep disorder where the breathing pattern is disturbed frequently, reducing oxygen to the brain. You can distinguish sleep apnoea from a snore.
- Extreme fatigue during the day, even after a well-timed sleep
- Thunderous and irregular snores
- Heavy chest with pain at night
- A feeling of shortness of breath and choking
- Morning headaches
- Falling asleep at an unusual time of the day, during a meal or a conversation.
- Increased blood pressure in the early morning
If you observe these red flags, you may have obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome and should visit your doctor at the earliest.
Snoring and Dental Health
Have you ever wondered about the connection between snoring and deteriorating oral health?
Snoring opens a pathway of problems for your teeth by allowing increased airflow that dries your mouth. Although salivary glands take care of this well for some time, eventually, they get worn out and stop the production of saliva, entering your oral health into significant complications.
Saliva is a protector of your teeth. It contains minerals that neutralize the acidic levels of the mouth and proteins that protect the tooth enamel. It also removes bacteria and fights against stinky breath, gum diseases, and tooth damage.
If saliva production is reduced, you are at risk of multiple dental diseases.
How to stop snoring?
Treatment of snoring depends upon the cause of it. Some bedtime remedies may improve the quality of sleep and reduce snoring.
Adjust the sleeping position
Buy a pillow that elevates your head at least four inches, easing breathing and encouraging your jaw to move forward. There are medical pillows available that elevate the head and support the neck muscles to avoid cramping.
Sleep on the side
Sleeping on the side is one of the most useful bedtime remedies to reduce snoring. It reduces the compression of your airway while lying on your back and retreats the tongue to block the airway. You can place pillows behind your back while sleeping to control the involuntary movement of lying on your back during sleep.
Use an oral appliance
There are specially designed mouth appliances and devices to help expand your airway and position your jaw favourably to stop snoring. You can consult your dentist to see what are the options for you.
Clear your nasal passage
Use normal saline drops or a neti-pot to rinse your nasal passage and support air movement.
Use of humidifier for moist air
A humidifier will protect the membranes in your throat and nose from drying out, reducing sleep deprivation. Inhaling steam also helps to clear up blocked sinuses and stuffed noses.
Avoid alcohol and quit smoking
Drinking alcohol makes the muscles of your throat close faster, creating difficulty in breathing. Smoking inflames the airways, narrowing the air passages.
A nasal or snore strip works as an external nasal dilator that pulls at the side of your nose to expand the nasal cavity.
What is the medical treatment for snoring?
There are different medical devices and surgical treatments your doctor or dentist may recommend to treat snoring.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
CPAP is mostly recommended for patients with diagnosed sleep apnea. It keeps the airways open during deep through blowing pressurized air into a mask that is worn on the nose to ease breathing.
To prevent the collapse of the soft palate during snoring, small plastic implants are inserted into the soft palate for support. The pillar procedure is also known as palatal implants.
Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP)
This is a surgical procedure that cuts the hanging tissue located at the back of the throat muscles to stop the vibrations that instigate a snore.
Custom-fitted dental devices
Your dentist will design customized dental appliances and jaw positioners for ease in the forward movement of your upper and lower jaw while sleeping to stop snoring.
Snoring has negative effects on your health and your relationship. Book your appointment with Melbourne Dental Sleep Clinic or call on these numbers below to give yourself and your sleep partner the comfort of a good night’s sleep.
Things you can do to help you stop snoring