Dangers of Snoring
For years, we’ve been taught that snoring is a joke, or, at worst, a minor nuisance. But it can actually be serious because it is linked to serious health conditions and other consequences. This includes:
- Sleep apnea
- Car accidents
- Domestic disputes and violence
Sleep apnea is closely linked to snoring. If you are a snorer, you need to be tested for sleep apnea, especially if it is loud enough to wake up others in the house. Sleep apnea can lead to many deadly complications, increasing a person’s risk of an early death sixfold or more.
Snoring can also impact your health. It’s been linked independently with atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. The theory is that the vibrations in snoring cause tiny injuries to the body’s larger arteries. These injuries heal, creating scar tissue that is the first stage in hardening.
People who snore are also not getting good quality sleep, so they are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel, leading to more car accidents.
In addition, the sound can cause major disputes at home. People can’t sleep because of the snoring, and the snorer isn’t getting good sleep, either, which means that when disputes arise, neither person is in a good condition for considering the problem rationally. Many instances of divorce and domestic violence start as snoring-related arguments. Getting snoring treated is a valuable way to promote or maintain domestic harmony.
Why You Snore
Snoring is caused by narrow airways. These airways create turbulent airflow (think about partially kinking a garden hose, and how that makes the water churn). The turbulent airflow then vibrates soft tissue, which is what causes the sound of snoring.
Snoring can occur at many points in your airway, including the:
- Upper palate and uvula
- Tongue and throat
Most of the time, the loudest snoring occurs in the throat. Narrow airways can be the result of:
- Position of the jaw
- Relaxed muscles
Your anatomy contributes to constriction of your airway. The size of your airway is determined by the size of other related structures, such as your jaw. Modifying the size of your jaw with the DNA appliance can help expand your airway to reduce or eliminate snoring as well as sleep apnea.
Position of the jaw determines how well your airway stays open. Putting your jaw in a healthy position can help you maintain an open airway.
When you sleep, your muscles naturally relax, but you can make this worse by consuming alcohol or taking certain medications too close to bedtime.
There are many potential causes of inflammation and excess mucus in the airway. Allergies, illness, and irritants are common causes. Some of these pass naturally, others might require modification of your diet or sleep environment.
Effective Treatment in St. Augustine
If you or someone you love snores, it can be very disruptive, and most home remedies don’t work. If you are tired of dealing with snoring or are worried about its effects, we can help. Please call (904) 474-5444 today for an appointment with sleep dentist Dr. Stephanie Kinsey at Palencia Dental.