Do you snore? If so, you’re not alone. Snoring is a common problem that can have a variety of causes. In some cases, it can be a sign of a more serious health problem. But in many cases, snoring can be treated or even eliminated with lifestyle changes and dental work. Here’s what you need to know about snoring and how your dentist can help.
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What Causes Snoring?
Before we get into how your dentist can help, let’s first take a look at what causes snoring. Snoring occurs when the flow of air is obstructed as you breathe. This can be due to a variety of factors, including:
You may be overweight
Losing weight can often help to reduce or eliminate snoring. This is because excess weight can lead to fatty tissue build-up in the throat, which can narrow the airway and cause snoring.
You sleep on your back
Sleeping on your back allows gravity to pull the soft tissue in the back of your throat down, which can block the airway and cause snoring.
You have a deviated septum
The septum is the bone and cartilage that divides the two sides of your nose. A deviated septum occurs when this bone is crooked or off-center, which can narrow the nasal passages and make it difficult to breathe. This can lead to snoring.
You drink alcohol before bed
Alcohol can irritate the lining of the throat and cause the muscles to relax. This can make it difficult to keep the airway open, leading to snoring.
How Can Your Dentist Help You Prevent Snoring
Your dentist can help you prevent snoring in a few different ways. Here are a few of the most common:
One way that your dentist can help you stop snoring is by prescribing an oral appliance. Oral appliances are also sometimes called mandibular advancement devices (MADs) or tongue-retaining devices. They work by holding your jaw and tongue in a forward position while you sleep, which keeps your airway open and reduces snoring.
Most oral appliances are made of soft materials, so they’re comfortable to wear. Some people may experience minor side effects from using an oral appliance, such as excessive saliva production or headaches. However, these side effects usually go away after a few days of use. If you’re considering an oral appliance to help with your snoring, talk to your dentist to see if it’s a good option for you.
A CPAP Device
A CPAP device is one of the ways a dentist can help you stop snoring. The CPAP machine delivers air through a mask that fits over your nose and mouth. The air pressure is set at a level that keeps your airway from collapsing as you sleep. A CPAP machine is the most effective treatment for sleep apnea, but it can take some time to get used to wearing the mask during sleep. A dentist can work with you to find the right sized mask and make sure it fits properly.
In addition, the dentist can help you troubleshoot any problems you have with using the CPAP machine. If you are struggling to use the CPAP machine, a dentist can offer alternative treatments for snoring or sleep apnea.
Wrapping it up
In conclusion, your dentist can help you stop snoring in a few different ways. It’s important to talk to your dentist if you are struggling with snoring, as it can be a sign of a more serious health problem. Now that you know a little more about snoring and how your dentist can help, you can take the necessary steps to get rid of your snoring problem for good.