Snoring isn’t a problem contained to your bedroom — the effects from a fitful night of snoring can spill over into the day and wreak havoc on your life.
But you no longer have to waste your time with nasal strips or awkward pillows. Our team of dentists at Rifkin Dental in Carmel and Yorktown Heights, New York, has a real solution for all types of snorers.
Why am I snoring so much?
Snoring is a common condition, and for most, it’s completely harmless — in some cases, your partner is the only one who suffers. Run-of-the-mill snoring can stem from a few factors, including:
- Using sedatives, such as sleep-inducing medication
- Chronic nasal congestion
- Smaller than normal jaw size
- Sleeping on your back
- Sleep deprivation
Women who are pregnant or postmenopausal can also become regular snorers.
But there’s snoring, and then there’s snoring that comes from an underlying problem. Loud, chronic snoring can mean you have a condition like obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in your throat that support your soft palate, uvula, tonsils, throat, and tongue relax as you sleep.
If those muscles relax too much, your airway narrows or closes completely, cutting off your air supply. This triggers an avalanche response in your body. Starting with a dip in your blood oxygen levels, which causes your brain to rouse you from sleep so you can reopen your airways and resume breathing.
This sleep-snore-wake cycle can happen once or twice during the night, or in the worst cases, up to 30 times an hour.
Because the most common sign of sleep apnea (snoring) is one you may not even know you have, it’s important to recognize some of the other symptoms, such as:
- Waking suddenly, gasping for air or choking
- Waking with a dry mouth
- Morning headaches
- Excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue
- Mental fog
Remember that sleep apnea-related snoring doesn’t have to be loud like a grizzly bear; light snorers can also be affected.
Sleep apnea is a significant sleep problem, and if it’s left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to even more health problems, including high blood pressure, heart problems, and type 2 diabetes.
How can your dentist help?
When you’re struggling with snoring, your knee-jerk reaction may not be to head to your dentist’s office. Though your journey might begin with your primary care provider, we’re one of the best places to turn for relief from your symptoms.
Whether you have occasional, annoying snoring or you have full-blown sleep apnea, you can benefit from a snore guard.
We custom-design a snore guard to fit your mouth perfectly, and, once you put it in, the device holds your jaw in the optimal position while you sleep. So, even if your throat muscles relax, your airways won’t shut.
Snore guards are effective for encouraging airflow, promoting healthy sleep patterns, and reducing snoring frequency and volume.
Is there anything else I can do?
Investing in a snore guard is one of the best ways to control snoring fits, but you can also play an active role in your sleep health. We recommend the following strategies:
- Limit alcohol consumption and use of sedatives
- Quit smoking
- Change your sleep position
- Manage congestion
- Manage underlying health conditions
- Lose weight
If you’d like more information or you’d like to start the process of getting a snore guard, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment online or over the phone today at our location most convenient to you.