What’s Causing My Snoring?

If you’re wondering what’s causing your snoring, check out this blog from Dental Care 4U in South Holland.

What Is Snoring?

Snoring occurs when air is unable to move freely through the nose or mouth. As air is forced through a blocked area, the soft tissues in the nose, mouth, and throat rub against each other, which causes a rattling, snorting, or grumbling noise.

Snoring is very prevalent; nearly everyone, from babies to adults, snores at some point in their life. Men over the age of 50 who are overweight are more likely to snore. Other factors that can increase the risk of snoring are drinking alcohol or taking certain medications, having a long soft palate, enlarged adenoids, tonsils, or tongue, a deviated septum, a family history of snoring, being pregnant, and having overweight or obesity. Nasal stuffiness due to allergies or the common cold can also block airflow and contribute to snoring.

What Causes Snoring?

When you breathe, air passes through your nose, mouth and throat. If the airway is blocked, the soft palate (the back of the mouth), tonsils, adenoids, and tongue can vibrate against each other as you attempt to push air through, creating a rumbling, rattling noise. A variety of things can restrict airflow, such as:

  • Alcohol and other sedatives that relax muscles

  • Bulky soft tissue such as enlarged adenoids, tonsils or tongues

  • Too much body fat that puts pressure on the soft tissues and compresses the airway

  • Pregnancy hormones that cause inflammation in the nose

  • Low muscle tone and muscle weakness in the mouth, nose or throat

  • Nasal congestion and inflammation due to a cold, flu, allergies or irritants in the air

  • Structural differences in the mouth, nose or throat that decrease the size of the airway

Could I Have Sleep Apnea?

Snoring is commonly linked to a sleeping disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is usually identified by loud snoring followed by periods of complete or near-complete silence in breathing. Eventually, this pause in breathing can wake you up, and you may wake up with a loud snort or gasp.

Not everyone who snores has OSA, but if snoring is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, you should consult a doctor to check for OSA: pauses in breathing during sleep, excessive tiredness during the day, difficulty focusing, morning headaches, a sore throat when waking up, difficulty sleeping, gasping or choking at night, high blood pressure, chest pain at night, and if your snoring is so loud that it disturbs your partner’s sleep.

Sleep Apnea Can Be Addressed By Your Dentist

While some specialists may recommend a positive airway pressure device or a CPAP machine to address sleep apnea, the truth of the matter is that these treatments are not always the best options for everyone. Some people with sleep apnea are not able to use CPAP machines. Surgery as a treatment option can be too invasive to consider.

Fortunately, the experts at Dental Care 4U in South Holland can provide patients with oral appliances to address sleep apnea. As a convenient option for treating sleep apnea, our practice can provide oral appliances to help you get a better night’s sleep. We offer multiple options for sleep apnea oral devices, including:

  • Mandibular Advancement Devices: These devices attach to the upper and lower teeth to move the jaw and tongue forward and can be customized to fit the patient’s teeth, reducing snoring and daytime sleepiness. 

  • Tongue-Stabilizing Devices: Tongue-stabilizing devices work to pull the tongue forward using suction and keep the tongue from blocking the airways.

  • Rapid Maxillary Expansion Devices: Rapid maxillary expansion devices are orthodontic devices that expand the roof of the mouth to open the airways. These involve wearing a custom-fitted expander to fit over the top back teeth and using pressure to correct arched palates in children.

Choose A Good Night’s Sleep With Dental Care 4U

If you’re ready for dentistry with a gentle touch at a practice that feels just like home, consider Dental Care 4U. Dr. Raj Khurana and the team have been operating Dental Care 4U for over 20 years, and are proud to offer the very best South Holland, IL and the surrounding communities. We always work with a gentle touch, so whether you need a root canal, tooth extraction, or orthodontic treatment, we will be here for you and your loved ones. Call us today at 708-333-2213 for an appointment.

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