Snoring is not just an annoying habit. It also has some surprising side effects and a significant impact on your oral health. While occasional snoring may not be a cause for concern, snoring most nights or experiencing loud, disruptive snoring may be linked to sleep problems and other health issues.There are a few different people who can help alleviate your symptoms, including a general dentist like Dr. Chern.
What is Snoring?
Snoring is the sound made when air flows past the tissues in your throat, causing them to vibrate. These tissues also include the soft palate and uvula at the opening of the throat in the back of the mouth. If the airway between the nose and throat or mouth and throat is constricted, hoarse or loud breathing sounds (snoring) can occur. Although snoring is often harmless, it can be the sign of a larger health condition and can have a negative effect on your oral health.
Snoring is one of the main symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). About 50% of people who snore have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that causes people to frequently stop breathing and wake up for brief periods while they sleep. Other symptoms of OSA include high blood pressure, chest pain at night, difficulty concentrating, and other health concerns.
I have since moved far from Dr. Chern’s office but still go back to her each appointment because she is by far the best dentist I have ever had. Her office is efficient and her bedside manner is fantastic – she is always willing to make suggestions and listen to your problems and feedback.
Causes of Snoring
There are a few different causes of snoring, some of which are often combined and may require separate treatments to effectively target and prevent snoring. These are a few of the most common causes of snoring:
Some people are born with large tonsils and adenoids or a long soft palate that narrows the airway. Being overweight can also cause the throat tissues to become larger and the extra weight puts more pressure on the throat while you sleep, making it difficult to breathe properly.
The throat muscles naturally relax when we sleep, but people over the age of 40 may be more susceptible to snoring since the muscles also lose elasticity and become lax as we age. When the muscles relax into the back of the throat, they block the airway and cause snoring.
A deviated septum, chronic congestion (sinusitis), and nasal polyps could be blocking the nasal airways and constricting air flow to the throat. Some people may only snore during allergy season or when they have a stuffy nose from a sinus infection or cold. However, long-term congestion or breathing difficulties are a cause for concern and may be contributing to your snoring.
Meet with Dr. Chern & Her Manhattan Team
To learn more about snoring in Manhattan and your treatment options, contact our office for an appointment by calling or filling out our online form. Dr. Inna Chern and her team will personally work with you to plan your best treatment options and restore the function and beauty of your smile.
How is Dentistry Involved?
Did you know that snoring has visible impacts on your oral health? Your dentist may be one of the first people to ask if you snore because it often leads to bad breath. When people snore, their mouths remain open for extended periods, causing a dry mouth. This is an oral health problem because saliva washes away dead cells from oral tissues and prevents a buildup of harmful bacteria. These bacteria not only cause bad breath but can also cause gum tissue, mouth sores, and tooth decay.
The Snoring Treatment Process and What to Expect
At New York General Dentistry, Dr. Chern offers an array of snoring treatment options to help you sleep better to boost energy levels. The following treatments can be recommended:
Dr. Chern might recommend a sleep study to determine the exact causes of your snoring so that a directed treatment can be applied. During a sleep study, experts monitor your vital signs as you sleep and analyze sleep patterns to determine the severity of sleep disorders like snoring and sleep apnea.
Oral appliances like a mouthguard or mandibular advancement device (MAD) can alleviate snoring and improve your quality of sleep. The MAD appliance is a custom-made mouthguard that keeps the lower jaw positioned forward to prevent the airway from being obstructed. Mouthguards are especially helpful because they also prevent teeth grinding and can improve other symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea.
A tonsillectomy or other procedures to remove or adjust the tissues in your mouth and throat could open the airway and permanently stop snoring. This could be especially beneficial for people with naturally bulky or thick tissues in their throats. Since this is a surgical procedure, Dr. Chern may recommend less invasive options first, if applicable.
A few simple lifestyle changes may improve your snoring. Alcohol relaxes the muscles and should be avoided before you plan to sleep. You can also try sleeping on your side with a support pillow since sleeping on your back could make it more difficult for the airways to stay open.Nasal strips are also a popular at-home remedy for snoring.
Snoring might not be completely prevented, but it can be improved with the right treatment. Please contact our office today to schedule a consultation. Dr. Chern will assess your condition to determine the right course of action and what you can expect from a long-term outlook.
What Makes Our Office the Right Fit for Your Dental Needs?
We never take a one-size-fits-all approach to your oral health. Dr. Chern will evaluate your teeth and gums, working closely with our team to create a custom solution.
Our bright and modern Midtown East Manhattan office was designed with you in mind. Enjoy a calming atmosphere and comfortable amenities to help you feel at ease.
New York General Dentistry uses modern techniques and equipment to ensure your treatment is a success.