Despite the fact that it might unceasingly annoy your sleeping partner, you might not consider your snoring habit something to worry about. After all, you’re still sleeping soundly, and perhaps the noise isn’t that loud, anyway. However, patients who snore may be at a much higher risk for certain systemic issues than they realize. In some cases, it can even indicate a more serious sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If you snore, especially if it’s consistent, then you should speak with your dentist about how to find appropriate treatment.
It isn’t harmless.
Snoring often results from a partial obstruction in your airway caused by over-relaxed mouth and throat tissues. As these tissues collapse into your airway while you sleep, your breathing becomes louder because it has to pass through a narrower path. The increased pressure forces your oral tissues and throat to vibrate loudly, and it forces you to work harder for a much smaller amount of oxygen. Over time, this can lead to complications with your cardiovascular health, including an increased risk of issues such as respiratory troubles and heart disease.
It could indicate sleep apnea.
In a more immediate sense, snoring can pose an even more serious threat to your health if it indicates obstructive sleep apnea, which describes a condition that causes you to stop breathing in your sleep. OSA is marked by loud periods of snoring, caused by the increasing obstruction in your airway, followed by silence as the airway is completely blocked. The silence only lasts a few moments until your body is forced to clear your airway, and while it may not force you awake, the repeated episodes can prevent you from ever achieving deep, R.E.M. sleep.
Visit Your Dentist if You’re Worried About Snoring
While it can often seem harmless, if a bit annoying, snoring may pose a significant threat to your long-term health and wellbeing. To learn more, schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in downtown Des Moines, IA, at (515) 244-9565.