Snoring isn’t commonly seen as a condition for which you’d visit your dentist, but it turns out the symptom is actually more closely related to oral health than most people think. Not only does snoring present certain mouth-related risks, but it may also be alleviated through certain dental interventions. Discover the connection between this phenomenon and your oral wellness below.
The Relationship Between Snoring & Oral Health
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring can take place when the tongue relaxes, blocking the throat and, thereby, impeding airflow. It can also occur as a result of swollen or fluid-filled nasal cavities, or anatomical conditions such as a thick soft palate, elongated uvula, or enlarged tonsils or adenoids. Being overweight, taking sedatives, using tobacco, and drinking alcohol can also contribute to snoring.
How Does It Affect the Oral Cavity?
Because snorers tend to sleep with their mouth open, they are more inclined to face certain oral complications. For one, this sleeping style can impede salivary flow, creating a dry mouth which invites bacterial growth. People who snore may, therefore, be at a greater risk for tooth decay and gum disease. These bacteria can also contribute to halitosis, or persistent bad breath.
How Can You Combat Snoring?
The cure for snoring depends on its root cause. For some patients, weight loss, smoking cessation, and abstaining from alcohol are enough to prevent it. On the other hand, patients whose snoring is caused by anatomical issues may need to explore additional interventions. Visiting your dentist is a good place to start, as they may be able to provide a custom mouthguard to reposition the jaw and enhance airflow. If noninvasive treatments prove ineffective, your dentist might also refer you to an oral surgeon or ear, nose, and throat specialist to discuss solutions such as jaw surgery or removal of the tonsils and adenoids.
Because of their increased risk of oral conditions, it’s critically important for people who snore to visit their dentist for regular cleanings. If you’re due for an appointment, contact the office of Ronald B. Potthoff, DDS, PC in Kalispell, MT. This dentist has more than 23 years of experience and offers a wide range of treatments, including orthognathic procedures to support jaw health. To schedule an appointment, call (406) 755-5280.