Snoring is a common sleep issue that affects millions of people worldwide. Contrary to popular belief, however, snoring isn’t something that is to be expected with everyone. When snoring is present, this is an indication of something abnormal occurring. In many cases, the abnormally has to do with dental issues. If you or your loved one has a snoring problem, consult with your dentist in Florham Park, NJ to find out if the issue might be corrected with some form of dental treatment.
What Actually Happens With Snoring?
Snoring occurs when the airflow through the mouth and nose is partially obstructed during sleep due to the relaxation of muscles in the upper airway. It may also occur due to other factors, such as nasal congestion and anatomic abnormalities. This obstruction leads to the vibration of the soft tissues in the airway, producing the sound we know as snoring. Snoring not only disrupts the sleep of the person affected but also anyone sharing the same sleeping environment.
Chronic snoring can lead to sleep disturbances, daytime fatigue, irritability and more serious health issues such as sleep apnea, hypertension and even cardiovascular disease. Identifying and addressing the root cause of snoring is crucial for improving sleep quality and overall health. Note that sometimes snoring is a side effect of a temporary condition, such as congestion from a cold. Typically, intervention is only necessary when the snoring is chronic.
The Relationship Between Snoring and Dental Health
A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that dental issues can contribute to snoring. Some of the key factors include:
Improper Jaw Alignment
A misaligned jaw, or malocclusion, can cause the tongue to fall back into the throat during sleep, restricting the airway and leading to snoring. Studies have shown that correcting jaw alignment can significantly reduce snoring and improve sleep quality.
Tooth Grinding (Bruxism)
Bruxism, or grinding of the teeth during sleep, can also contribute to snoring by causing jaw misalignment and tension in the muscles of the airway. Research has demonstrated that treating bruxism can alleviate snoring and other sleep-related breathing disorders.
Dental Services in Florham Park, NJ, for Snoring Management
Oral Appliance Therapy
One evidence-based dental service for snoring management is oral appliance therapy. Custom-made oral appliances are designed to maintain an open airway during sleep by repositioning the lower jaw and tongue. Research has shown that oral appliance therapy is an effective, non-invasive treatment option for snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea.
Sleep Study Referrals
Dentists may refer patients with snoring concerns to a sleep specialist for a sleep study, also known as polysomnography. Sleep studies monitor various physiological activities during sleep, such as brain activity, eye movement, heart rate, and respiratory effort, to determine the severity of snoring and identify any underlying sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. The results of the sleep study can inform the appropriate course of treatment, which may include dental interventions.
Impact of Dental Treatment on Snoring
Improved Sleep Quality
By addressing the dental issues contributing to snoring, patients and their sleep partners can experience significant improvements in sleep quality, leading to increased energy levels, improved mood and enhanced overall well-being. When sleep is not interrupted by snoring, it’s more likely that the person and their partner are able to enter the deeper stages of sleep that are associated with awakening feeling refreshed.
Reduced Health Risks
Untreated snoring can contribute to various health issues, including sleep apnea, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. By seeking dental treatment to alleviate snoring, patients can reduce their risk of developing these serious health problems.
Knowing the physiological processes behind snoring and its relationship to dental health is essential for patients and their sleep partners to understand how your dentist in Florham Park, NJ might be able to help. We offer a range of evidence-based services designed to diagnose and treat the dental causes of snoring. By seeking dental treatment for snoring, you or your loved one can improve sleep quality, reduce health risks and enhance the overall quality of life.