West Ashley SC patients get answers to, “Why do people snore while sleeping?”
It’s estimated almost half of American adults snore and one-fourth snore habitually. Snoring isn’t always a sign of a dangerous condition. With age, you may snore due to poor muscle tone in the throat and tongue. A loved one may be allergic and snore when pollen counts are high.
Is the snoring light? Does it happen irregularly? It may be little more than an annoyance. If snoring is consistent, it can be a red flag for an underlying health problem.
Snoring may also be cause for concern if:
- Breathing is impaired for 10 or more seconds at a time
- Sleep is fitful
- Daytime drowsiness is common
- Chronic headaches, dry mouth, or sore throat occur frequently
Generally, the hoarse, harsh sound associated with snoring is produced when air doesn’t flow through your mouth properly. Airflow may be impeded by:
- Nasal problems, including chronic congestion, sinus infections, allergies, a deviated septum or polyps
- Obstructive sleep apnea, in which muscles at the back of your throat relax, partially or completing blocking the airway
- Thick tissues at the back of the throat or other anatomical features narrow the opening between mouth and nose
Some causes of snoring are also risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea. Extra pounds can result in tissues so bulky that they obstruct the upper airway. Alcohol, sedatives, and other medications may cause throat tissues to become too relaxed. Smokers are reportedly three times more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea. It’s thought smoking inflames and causes fluid retention in the upper airway.
Lifestyle changes alone may not result in restful sleep. Difficulties breathing during sleep may still wake you up and pose health complications to you and others, including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
A lack of quality sleep may mean you are not able to be at your best. Your work or school performance can suffer. Studies have attributed anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of all vehicular accidents to drowsy driving. Snoring can even strain relationships with partners.
If snoring and breathing difficulties linger, an oral appliance may be designed and fitted to reposition the lower jaw, tongue or other tissues. These dental appliances keep your airway open. Since these oral appliances are worn during sleep, they are often mistakenly referred to as night guards.
The night guard protects teeth from damage caused by clenching or grinding during sleep, a condition known as bruxism. A snore guard holds the jaw slightly open and forward, preventing overly relaxed soft tissues from blocking your airway.
While snore guards and night guards are different types of appliances to address snoring caused by sleep apnea and bruxism respectively if you have obstructive sleep apnea there is a good chance you also grind your teeth at night. Researchers found one of every four sleep apnea sufferers had bruxism. The act of abruptly awakening is thought to cause gasping, grunting and grinding of the teeth. Untreated sleep apnea is also associated with increased stress and anxiety, a risk factor for nighttime teeth grinding.
Oral appliances designed to comfortably fit your mouth are easy to get used to and can be worn in combination with other treatments, such as a CPAP mask.
You may be asking, “Why do People Snore While Sleeping?” to solve your own troubling symptoms or to help a loved one. Whatever the case may be, schedule a consultation near West Ashley SC at Mouth Carolina Dentistry. Call (843)751 4262.Back to Dental Library Page