Is everyone complaining about your snoring?
You might not believe it’s a major health issue, but your dentist might think differently. Also, other interconnected health or dental issues could be contributing to your snoring, and your dentist might be the first to find the connection.
Regular Dental Examinations Reveal Issues
If you stick to a regular dental examination routine, you likely see your dentist more often than you see your regular physician. Dental exams are supposed to take place every six months, while healthy adults usually only see their doctor once a year, if that.
When you go to your bi-annual dental exam and cleaning, your dentist asks about many areas of your dental health. He or she will definitely ask you if you’re keeping up with a regular hygiene routine, but also if you are having any issues, such as dry mouth or bad breath. Your answers could lead to discoveries that reveal your snoring isn’t as harmless as you might think.
Snoring Could Signify Sleep Apnea
Waking up in the morning with terrible bad breath and a dry, thick feeling in your mouth isn’t always normal — sometimes it’s a sign you’ve spent most of the night with your mouth open, snoring.
Dry mouth can last throughout the day, and without the necessary amount of saliva, bacteria has a chance to build up and lead to an increase in tooth decay. Bad breath can affect your self-esteem, causing you undue stress.
Dentists want to help treat these issues, but they want to get to the root cause. They recognize that snoring could mean you have a problem with the tissues in your throat and the orientation of your jaw. It could mean you have obstructive sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which your throat muscles and tissues relax more than normal, blocking your airway. This will cause you to wake up throughout the night each time your air supply lowers, and gasp for breath before you fall back into a deep sleep and your airway closes again.
Snoring is common in those with sleep apnea, since the noise comes from air being forced through the flapping tissues in the back of the throat.
If you have sleep apnea, you may not consciously be aware of constantly waking up throughout the night, but you’ll feel sluggish in the mornings, maybe also suffering from headaches, depression and anxiety as well as dental health issues.
Dental Appliances Can Help
If your dentist discovers you have a serious snoring problem and he or she believes it could be connected to obstructive sleep apnea, you will be referred to your regular physician or a sleep specialist for a final diagnosis. But your dentist also will provide treatment solutions in the meantime.
You can begin by wearing a custom-fitted device to hold your jaw in place and support the tissues in your mouth and throat while you sleep. This could eliminate the dry mouth and bad breath that plague you. It also could restore your sleep and even completely cure your snoring.
Call Oak Hills Dentistry to make an appointment, and tell the team if you struggle with snoring and think it may be affecting the quality of your sleep or your dental health. Dental appliances could be the solution you need to improve your quality of life and overall oral health, and stop snoring!