Not many people are aware that the mechanisms behind snoring, and the key to stopping it, are often mouth and throat tissues. In many cases, snoring can be treated with minimally-invasive measures, like changing positions when you sleep or altering a few nighttime habits. With these few tips, you may be able stop snoring without the need for professional treatment. However, if your snoring persists, then we advise scheduling a consultation as soon as possible to determine if sleep apnea may be the reason.
What Causes Snoring?
Have you ever wondered why snoring occurs? When you sleep, the muscles and tissues in your mouth and throat relax, such as tonsils and the base of the tongue. In some patients, these tissues can partially obstruct the airway, shrinking the passage through which air flows and causing the tissues to vibrate loudly. The severity of snoring depends on the level of obstruction. Sometimes, the airway can become completely blocked, causing some patients to periodically stop breathing while they sleep – a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea.
How to Stop Snoring
Snoring and mild forms of obstructive sleep apnea are often treated with a custom-designed oral appliance that you wear while you’re sleeping. The sleepguard is designed to hold the lower jaw in a slightly forward position, preventing airway blockage from collapsed oral tissues. More mild forms of snoring can often be resolved with one or more of the following tips;
- Change position—You are more likely to snore when you sleep on your back, which can allow gravity to drag oral tissues directly into the throat and airway. By sleeping on your side or stomach, you can prevent these tissues from falling into the airway and sleep soundly through the night.
- Lose weight—Overweight patients are more likely to snore and experience sleep apnea due to excess weight around the neck. Losing weight and improving physical fitness can reduce the risks of snoring and sleep apnea.
- Skip the nightcap—Alcohol depresses the nervous system and relaxes the body’s muscles, creating a slightly euphoric feeling that may help you fall asleep faster. The extra relaxation increases the chances of oral tissues collapsing into the airway, which may explain why alcohol-induced sleep often involves snoring.
About Your Spring, TX Dental Experts:
At Stephens, Gatewood, & Associates, located in Spring, TX, we proudly deliver modern, quality dental care in a welcoming, comfortable environment to patients and families throughout the community. Though we are located in Spring, we also welcome patients from Houston, The Woodlands, Tomball, Cypress, and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation with one of our experts, call Stephens, Gatewood, & Associates today at 281-320-2000. Se Habla Espanol!