Snoring is more than an annoying problem – it could be a sign of a serious sleep disorder.
What Is Snoring?
Snoring is what happens when structures in the throat block the flow of air as you breathe. While laying down or leaning your head back in sleep, the tissues around your tongue, nose and throat relax and the breathing passage narrows. As you try to breathe, the air is forced against these obstructing tissues. This creates a vibrating sound that comes out as a snore.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring can result from a number of factors including:
- Carrying a little too much weight, especially around the neck
- Medications (antihistamines or sleeping pills) or alcohol which cause deep relaxation
Other contributing factors are beyond control:
- Colds or sinus infections
- Anatomical issues such as a narrow throat, cleft palate or enlarged adenoids
- Age and gender – middle-aged men tend to have wider necks with excess soft tissue, making them more likely to snore
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a serious type of snoring and many sufferers don’t even know they have it.
OSA occurs when the throat closes completely, or nearly so, during sleep.
When the airway is closed off like this, breathing stops for some time. In response, the body reflexively gasps to draw in oxygen. This response can sometimes jolt the person awake, but it usually happens without their awareness. This makes the condition difficult to diagnose. Most individuals diagnosed with OSA only found out after their partner or family member told them they had a breathing problem.
Have you been told that you have a severe snoring problem?
A visit to your doctor and a sleep study could be your key to diagnosis. Sleep apnoea affects your waking moments with decreased energy and lowered brain function. Don’t wait if you suspect you have a serious snoring problem.
Snoring Treatment in the Dental Office
If you live in southern Adelaide and are looking for a solution to your snoring problem, Dr. Stephen Dunstone can help you out.
Dr. Dunstone can craft a customised sleeping appliance that supports your lower jaw. This Mandibular Advancement Device keeps your jaw and tongue from collapsing backwards while you relax, giving you an open airway to breathe in peace.
Contact Dr. Dunstone at South Beach Dental for more information.