Do you tend to snore a lot? No doubt other people know about it, and you have probably found out that they will often crack a joke about it and not take the problem too seriously. However, if you share every aspect of your life with a partner, you will be sharing your disruptive sleep patterns with that person.
Not only that, you may end up tired and irritable yourself, with limited ability to function properly. These aren’t the only reasons you should be concerned about your snoring, as both your oral health and general health may be affected.
The causes of snoring
When you are asleep, your throat muscles naturally relax. They will tend to vibrate if air is blocked from passing through your airways, making the noise we associate with snoring. Snoring is quite common and around 50 percent of adults go through the experience at some time in their life.
Snoring could be due to nasal congestion, the consumption of alcohol, sleep apnoea or just the way your mouth is shaped. If the tonsils have become enlarged, your airways can narrow and tend to vibrate more once the air attempts to flow along its pathway. A narrower than usual airway can also be caused by being too overweight. As you can’t usually hear yourself snore, you normally only become aware of it when someone tells you. Fortunately, being an age old affliction there has been considerable research and many breakthroughs on ways to reduce or at least control snoring.
What’s so bad about snoring?
Adults and snoring
Medical professionals in recent years have taken snoring as a threat to health far more seriously. A person who is a chronic snorer may be suffering from Sleep Disordered Breathing (or SDB).This is a condition where breathing becomes more difficult when your body is lying flat and inhaling and exhaling. This could be because there is too much fatty tissue in your throat blocking your airways when you lie stretched out. The reason may be associated with being overweight or it could be hereditary. If snoring follows you into adulthood, or becomes worse as an adult, the health consequences could be quite severe, such as:
- the encouraging of the onset of diabetes;
- the development of cardiovascular disease;
- gastrointestinal problems;
- a sudden stroke;
- lapses in memory;
- anxiety disorders.
These are the sorts of health problems everyone wants to avoid so forewarned is forearmed. You shouldn’t ignore a snoring problem any longer and by seeking help and a solution you will live a longer, healthier and more fruitful life.
Your child and snoring
One of the obvious effects of snoring in children is the failure to get enough good sleep. Apart from that, children aren’t quite like adults as they haven’t necessarily learned how to handle SDB. There are many different side-effects like Attention Deficiency Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which not only puts stress on your child but to others in their company too. ADHD causes hyperactivity which, if not controlled, can break out into periods of uncontrolled behaviour. Failure to breathe constantly while asleep can lead to dangerously low levels of oxygen in the blood. This in turn can, it seems from research, affect a child’s IQ even to the point that it could fall by 15 to 25 points. Other side effects include uncontrolled bed wetting and in infants SDB has been linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Dental effects of snoring in both children and adults
Because the breathing pattern of a snorer is disrupted it can damage the jaws, especially if they are still developing. This can also result in developing a narrower palate than normal, overcrowded teeth and difficulty with controlling the jaw effectively causing a poor bite.
One of the best ways to tackle snoring is to see your dentist
As with many health related problems prevention is better than cure because if a snorer doesn’t admit to the problem and get early treatment, extracting teeth or even corrective jaw surgery may be necessary to repair the damage done by long-term snoring. Our dentists can custom make a dento-facial appliance to help alleviate your snoring. The appliance may be designed to widen your palate, reposition the jaws to widen your airways, or bring back better swallowing and breathing by retraining the muscles. We help you as best we can and will refer you to other health professionals for collaborative help in helping to stop or alleviate your habit of snoring.
We are your oral health gatekeepers and if you complete our sleep questionnaire, send it by email we can arrange an appointment to help solve your snoring problem forever which will not only please you but your partner as well.