Do you snore during your sleep? This may seem like a habit that hurts your bed partner more than you, but chronic snoring may lead to problems with your teeth and your gums over time. Snoring may also occur due to underlying dental issues.
If you know that you snore, you may want to ask your dentist in Midland, TX about ways to stop this habit and protect your smile. Read on to learn more about the effect that chronic snoring can have on your oral health and how your dentist can help.
How Does Snoring Harm My Smile?
Snoring occurs when the muscles and soft tissue at the back of the throat relax during sleep, resulting in a narrowing of the airway. As you breathe in this state, the air causes the tissue to vibrate where the tissues are close together, producing a loud snoring sound.
So how does this noise play a role in your overall oral health? People who snore often also sleep with their mouths open. Exposure to open air will dry out the mouth. The condition of dry mouth will then create an environment where the natural oral bacteria will spread with greater ease.
This then heightens a patient’s risk of contracting oral infections like gum disease. Though common, gum disease will eat away at the gum tissue, teeth, and jawbone until you sustain irreversible dental damage. You can prevent structural harm to your smile by stopping dry mouth along with mouth-breathing and snoring. Call your dentist about this sleep habit to protect your smile.
Can Dental Problems Cause Snoring?
Loud snoring can be a symptom of a condition called sleep apnea. Patients with this sleep disorder have the tissue at the back of the throat periodically collapse and block the airway completely at brief intervals. This results in a blockage and cessation of breathing.
While not acutely life-threatening, sleep apnea may heighten the patient’s risk of cardiovascular, respiratory, and cognitive health issues. And obstructive sleep apnea might develop due to dental problems.
An uneven bite or misaligned teeth could make a patient more likely to suffer from this type of sleep apnea. Your dentist can treat bite problems to reduce your risk of sleep apnea and the accompanying medical concerns.
How Can My Dentist Help Me Stop Snoring?
As mentioned, amending bite problems can help to resolve obstructive sleep apnea and related snoring habits. But your dentist can also treat mild cases of sleep apnea with a custom-made night guard.
This oral appliance worn during sleep will keep the jaw in a position that will prevent the collapse of tissue at the back of the throat that causes snoring and sleep apnea. You can sleep without issue, confident in this secure fit.
More severe sleep apnea patients might need a CPAP machine from their doctor. But some patients notice improved compliance with this more comfortable night guard to treat this issue.