What Causes Snoring
It is caused by an obstruction to your air path. When you’re awake and standing, your muscles and gravity work together to hold your airway open. But when you lie down to sleep, gravity pulls your airway closed, and your muscles relax in sleep, allowing your airway to contract. If your airway narrows, air cannot flow smoothly through it, which causes turbulence that vibrates the throat. These vibrations are the sounds you hear.
Dangers of Snoring
People often think that snoring is a minor nuisance, but the truth is that snoring is associated with serious health risks such as:
- Sleep apnea
- Poor sleep
- Cardiovascular risks
- Car accidents
- Domestic violence
Most importantly, it is associated with obstructive sleep apnea, which has its own very serious risks. But even if you don’t have sleep apnea, snoring can be dangerous, even deadly. Snoring shows that your body isn’t getting enough oxygen when you sleep, and in the morning you may feel unrested. Your snoring may even be waking you up–the sounds can be that loud–without you knowing it because you fall back asleep.
Snoring also contributes to cardiovascular risks. The vibrations associated with snoring can cause micro-injuries in the arteries in your throat, and as these injuries scar over they contribute to hardening of your arteries. It can also shorten your life.
People who snore are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel, especially if they get six or fewer hours of sleep a night.
To people outside the home, it’s easy to look at sleeping as a joke, but if you are constantly living with a snorer, you experience the very real torture of sleep deprivation. Because both members of a couple are not getting adequate rest, they can become irrational, and conflicts over snoring and other issues often escalate to violence.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can cause you to stop breathing dozens of times a night for at least ten seconds at a time. It occurs when there is an obstruction blocking your airway. These blockages are essentially the same thing that causes snoring, when the soft tissue at the back of the throat or your tongue, or the tonsils or adenoids don’t just narrow your airway, they close it completely. This blockage stops your breathing, which then deprives your body of oxygen.
Your brain responds to the lack of oxygen by ordering your heart to work harder to pump blood and waking up just enough to open your airway fully. This can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. It can also affect your waking hours by causing you to be fatigued because you’re not getting the sleep you need, especially the restorative sleep that only occurs in deep sleep stages. Fatigue has been linked to a host of physical and psychological ailments, and can increase your risk of accidents while driving or operating machinery.
We Can Help
That’s right. Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Haddad and Dentist Dr. Doolin can help correct your snoring and sleep apnea issues. There are many sleep appliances that can help remedy this issue so that you can prevent all of the dangers that go along with sleep breathing disorders.
If you live in the Rochester and Oakland Township areas of Michigan and suffer from snoring or sleep apnea, please call (248) 656-2020 to contact our sleep dentists of Rochester Advanced Dentistry today. Our experienced staff can help you start sleeping through the night once again.