Snoring is more common than you think. Based on the estimate established by the National Sleep Foundation, around 30 to 50% of Americans experienced snoring at some point in time. While snoring can be normal at times, it can be quite alarming if it persists. It can be a sign of a health problem or it can lead to one. Which is why people must let their physicians know about their snoring so the underlying problem can be diagnosed and properly treated. But you can actually go to a dentist to seek help. Yes, many are not aware of this— there is actually a correlation between snoring and dental health.
Why and How Your Dentist Can Help
Aside from going to the physician, you can actually go straight to your dentist to seek help for your snoring problems. Whether the snoring is caused by sleep apnea or not, constant snoring can be a sign of a serious problem. Make sure to mention this to your dentist during your next appointment. To determine the underlying cause of snoring, it is important that you explain the frequency and pattern of your snoring. You can ask your spouse regarding this or some other people who have heard you snore. Mentioning other symptoms also helps.
But if you can’t explain the snoring pattern in details, there is another way. You can arrange several tests with your dental professionals. The most common test is a sleep study called a polysomnogram. It includes an evaluation of your sleeping patterns and vital signs. Experts will monitor and analyze such while you are put to sleep.
After the tests, the dental professional will recommend certain strategies to reduce the occurrence of snoring at night. The following are some of the things you can do to remedy your sleeping problem:
- Tone down your alcohol intake during the night, as this might affect your quality of sleep.
- Shed some weight. Snoring is common among overweight and obese people. Losing weight helps reduce the obstruction in the airway during sleep.
- As much as possible, refrain from using sedatives. You can ask for healthier alternatives from your physician.
- Sleep on your side. Make this a habit since sleeping on your back makes your airway more prone to obstruction.
Dental professionals may also require you to use certain dental or oral devices designed to reduce excessive snoring. The devices are meant to correct and reduce the obstruction in the airway, which is what usually causes the vibration we hear as snoring. The dentist knows best as to which device is the safest and the best for a particular patient. The widely used snoring-prevention device is the mandibular advancement device. This mouth guard-like device forces the lower jaw downward and keeps the airway open, preventing any obstruction and difficulty in breathing, which are the primary causes of snoring. Another helpful device is the tongue-retraining device. This is designed to hold the tongue in a proper position to free any obstruction from the airway.
If your snoring already affects your sleep and daily lifestyle, don’t hesitate to call East Valley Dental Professionals. We would gladly provide you with the right remedy for your sleeping problem. With our professional help and support, you will be able to sleep more soundly and snore-free at night. Make an appointment with us today.