If you are struggling with snoring and sleeplessness then it may be a sign of a problem that only your dentist can solve. This is often because Chronic Snoring and sleep troubles are a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, which relates to your teeth.
What is Sleep Apnea?
With an estimated 18 million Americans suffering from sleep apnea, it is something to be concerned about. This condition causes multiple breathing interruptions throughout the night. These pauses last a few seconds to minutes but can occur up to 30 or more times per hour.
When these pauses happen, it is because of one of three reasons:
- The muscles in your throat are flaccid
- Your tongue is too big for your mouth
- Your jaw is too small
Overall, all of these symptoms cause your airway to become obstructed.
The first sign of sleep apnea is typically teeth grinding, known as bruxism. When you visit your dentist with complaints of sleep issues, your dentist will look to see if you have worn tooth surfaces (indicating the grinding of your teeth).
Grinding can not only cause wear and breakage but also inflamed and receding gums. You may even see a spike in cavities because the force of grinding teeth damages them, and makes them susceptible to cavity-causing bacteria.
Gasping for Breath
When you sleep at night and you are grinding your teeth, you will proceed to tense your jaw. This will send the message to your brain to wake up because you need to take a breath. This completely interrupts your sleep and will have you gasping for breath.
It will also cause fatigue. Your sleep quality will be diminished, leading to a high risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.
Another negative oral health sign that causes snoring is having a small jaw. This will often lead to a tongue with scalloped edges. You may also notice redness in the throat due to snoring often.
What to do When You Snore?
If you have sleep apnea (leading to snoring), your dentist may recommend a sleep study. You may also want to consider a night guard. Although an over-the-counter guard might not fix the problem, a custom made guard might. This can help to reduce grinding. Not only that, but it will lessen the cavities, headaches, jaw pain, sleep apnea, and finally, chronic snoring.
Is Sleep Apnea Causing my Snoring?
It may be hard to know if you have sleep apnea. Despite this, the most common sign of sleep apnea is chronic snoring. Other symptoms might include daytime drowsiness, waking up with a dry mouth or a sore throat, and then morning headaches.
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, be sure to reach out to us at Flower Dental. We can help to diagnose your condition and help you get on the path to curing your chronic snoring and sleep apnea. Contact us today to make an appointment.