Snoring is often seen as little more than a humorous complaint in many homes. Maybe an occasional loud noise cuts through the night and that’s the extent of it. However, for just as many people, snoring is far more serious. From sleep pattern disruptions to actual air blockages, this condition may require more attention from a dentist who can properly diagnose and treat it.
Snoring Vs. Sleep Apnea
When you sleep, the tissues in your throat relax. As air flows in and out, it can cause those tissues to vibrate and produce sounds. This is not just common, it’s universal. It’s likely that every individual on the planet has snored before.
Snoring can sometimes be confused with sleep apnea, but it’s important to note that they are not the same condition. Sleep apnea occurs when there’s a blockage in the air, not simply just a vibration of the tissues. You may need to see a healthcare professional to understand more about which condition you have.
How to Treat Snoring
Snoring may not need treatment at all. However, when it’s accompanied by other symptoms, such as fatigue or sore throat, it could be a good time to see a dentist. Not only will an oral care practitioner understand how the tissues of the mouth and throat affect your nighttime breathing patterns, but they’ll also be able to recommend devices that will make it possible to open the airways again.
A dentist will typically start with solutions that won’t drastically interrupt your bedtime routine. For instance, a mouthguard or retainer can be worn to adjust the tissues at night. They may also recommend long-term goals to curb snoring. This may mean quitting a smoking habit or shedding some weight, as both have been linked to chronic snoring.
Finding a Dentist for Snoring
Some people have problems with snoring for years until they do something about it. This can lead to unhealthy sleeping habits that affect everything from your concentration to your physical health. Finding a specialist who can treat snoring isn’t just helpful, it can literally be life-changing.