What Does Snoring Have to Do with Dental Health?

why snoring is affecting your health

Did you know nearly 60% of people say their partner snores?

We all know that snoring can be annoying and can even prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep alone is a serious health concern you shouldn’t ignore, but it’s more than that — if you’re snoring, you’re not breathing properly at night.

Making sure you breathe well and sleep well are two of the most important health issues, period. Many people snore and don’t even know it. They just know they feel tired during the day.

Snoring is treatable, especially if you deal with it early, but most people never do anything about it.

What Is Snoring Anyway?

Snoring happens when you can’t breathe freely while you sleep. It’s usually a result of blockage or narrowing of the airways in your nose, mouth, or throat. When that happens, the tissues of your airway vibrate, causing that loud snoring sound we all recognize.

Snoring Statistics
30% People 30+ years old who snore
40% People 40+ years old who snore
19% Women who snore
59% People who say their partner snores
28% People who snore who also experience sleep apnea

(Vancouver Sleep and Breathing Center)

Snoring itself is not an illness. But just as a sore throat is a symptom of a cold, snoring can be a symptom of more serious health problems. Let’s look at two of them.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, a sleep disorder characterized by periods when your breathing repeatedly stops and starts while you’re asleep. Many people with sleep apnea wake up several times during the night as a result of not breathing, but they often don’t remember it.

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea by far. It’s also the one that’s most likely to cause snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea happens when your airway gets blocked — usually by your throat muscles or other soft tissues in your throat.

sleep apnea airway obstruction

Image: Drcamachoent

Sleep apnea has multiple known negative health consequences, which can include:

  • Insomnia
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Extreme daytime tiredness
  • Decreased cognitive functioning
  • Depression
  • Dry mouth or throat
  • Weight gain
  • Mood changes
  • Weakened immune system

People with sleep apnea are also more likely to suffer from:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Impotence

About 1 in 5 adults suffers from mild sleep apnea.

alarm clock

Photo: faungg’s photos

Snoring and UARS

UARS (or upper airway resistance syndrome) essentially means that you have a “clogged pipe,” either through your nose or your pharyngeal airway (behind your nose and mouth). UARS may mean that you’re not getting adequate air supply into your lungs, which often results in snoring.

The symptoms of UARS are similar to the symptoms of sleep apnea. In fact, it can be difficult to tell the difference without a sleep study. Often, people with UARS don’t actually experience any apnea. In other words, they don’t actually stop breathing, but breathing becomes increasingly difficult during sleep, and they often wake up throughout the night as a result.

UARS isn’t linked to as many serious health issues (like high blood pressure and heart disease) as sleep apnea, but it does cause problems that come with lack of sleep. And UARS can worsen over time.

Stop Snoring for Good

The bottom line is, if you’re snoring, it is a clear indicator that there is a problem. The good news is both sleep apnea and UARS are treatable, and in many cases, reversible! (That means no more snoring, too!)

The best approach is to deal with them early so you can get back to a better state of health naturally. Don’t wait until the only option is surgery or an uncomfortable CPAP machine!

Enter the Pain-Free Sleep Apnea Treatment

At Blodgett Dental Care, we take a holistic approach to treating sleep apnea and UARS. We consider the health of your entire body, not just your teeth.

That’s why I often recommend a non-surgical sleep apnea cure called the Daytime-Nighttime Appliance (DNA). It’s a small, comfortable device you can wear at night (similar to a retainer).

dna appliance

While CPAP machines and other devices can treat the symptoms of sleep apnea, they’re incredibly uncomfortable, disruptive to your sleep, and don’t treat the underlying cause. The DNA appliance does. Here’s how:

The DNA appliance works by applying light intermittent vibrations to your teeth, which stimulate jaw growth centers and help your airways expand and grow. This allows for increased airflow and prevents interruptions in your breathing while you sleep.

Ready to Get Your (Quiet) Sleep Back?

If you’d like to learn more about holistic treatment options for snoring (and alternatives to CPAP machines) get in touch! You can call Blodgett Dental Care at (503) 713-6980 or contact us online.

By |2018-07-20T21:14:09+00:00June 2nd, 2016|