Symptoms

Sleep Disorders and Snoring

Most adults with a partner know if they have snoring problems. You might have tried anti-snoring aids or devices like breathing strips or special pillows at their insistence. Other than your partner’s comfort, there are significant health reasons why you should talk to your dentist about how you can stop snoring naturally. 

Why Do People Snore?
While sleeping, as some people breathe in and out, the soft tissue in the upper airway vibrates, causing the snoring sound. It is extremely common in men and frequently occurs in women while they are pregnant or after menopause. 

Factors that can increase your risk of snoring:
 

  • Nasal obstruction

  • Tongue Tie

  • Obesity

  • Neck circumference

  • Family history

  • Smoking

  • Consuming alcohol or sedatives before bed

 

Is Snoring Bad?
The human body performs at its best when well rested. While the number varies by age, the quality of sleep in those hours are vital. In a 2010 article published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, researchers found that the “grey matter” aka the cerebral cortex, where most information processing in the brain takes place, was greatly reduced in individuals with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

 

Keep in mind, children should never snore, unless they have a cold. Read more on snoring in children
 


More Than Just a Little Less Sleep Each Night
People who snore tend to write it off as just something they have to deal with, without understanding the effects on the rest of their life. Poor sleep quality is just the beginning. 

 

Sleep deprivation left untreated can lead to:
 

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness

  • Fatigue

  • Auto accidents

  • Morning headaches

  • Memory loss

  • Chronic acid reflux

  • Erectile dysfunction

  • High blood pressure

  • Stroke

  • Heart disease

  • Diabetes

 


Is it Just Snoring or is it Sleep Apnea?
Loud and frequent snoring is just one of the signs the muscles are relaxed and narrowed to the point of blocking the airway during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is when you repeatedly stop breathing for ten seconds or more. The brain senses that you are not getting enough oxygen so it rouses you to take a breath. This can happen up to 30 or more times in the space of an hour.
 


The Dental Connection
While chronic snoring is by the most noticeable complication; other signs include gasping for air, difficulty staying asleep, waking with a dry mouth, morning headaches, irritability, and excessive daytime sleepiness; dentists notice something different. Often one of the early signs of sleep apnea is teeth grinding. At night your brain is sending a message to breath which corresponds with the tensing of the  jaw and grinding of teeth.

 

Other signs of obstructive sleep apnea we look for include:
 

  • Tooth wear and breakage

  • Inflamed and receding gums 

  • Sudden increase in cavities 

  • Small jaw 

  • Tongue with scalloped edges

  • Redness in the throat

  • Classification of airway (Mallampati)

 


How To Stop Snoring
How your mouth, jaw, tongue and airway is structured is something we are uniquely qualified to assess at Floss Family Dental & Surgical Center. Airway-Centered Dentistry is a comprehensive and noninvasive approach to restore functional breathing so that your breathing moves freely and silently through your nose as much as possible. We work hand-in-hand with Somnos Sleep Disorder Center, a certified sleep laboratory with 30 years of experience, located in Lincoln, NE, as well as area ear, nose and throat doctors (ENTs) to prevent snoring.  

 


Did you know?
Men are two to three times more likely to have sleep apnea than women.
 


Next Steps
Schedule a consultation to help you decide if you would benefit from treatment. 
 
 

Video Spotlight: Sleep Apnea

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The staff is fantastic! A friendly face when you walk in the door and it continues as soon as you get back into the exam chair. I saw Dr. V and he went above and beyond. I have one spot in particular that I always wondered what was wrong, and he gave me the answer that no others have. 
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