What is Snoring?
Snoring is the resulting sound that occurs due to obstructed air movement during breathing while you are asleep. In some cases, the sound may be soft, but in other cases, it can be loud and unpleasant.
Snoring during sleep may be a sign or an indicator of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA can be detrimental to you and your partner’s physical and mental health. People with obstructive sleep apnea can change their habits to help alleviate symptoms but may never fully solve the root of the problem. Using oral appliance therapy (OAT) from Philadelphia dental sleep expert Dr. Marc Levin, you can start getting a good night’s sleep sooner than potentially never. Get in touch with us today for a consultation.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring is caused by many factors. While you are sleeping, the muscles relax in the throat, the tongue and the roof of your mouth (also known as the soft palate). In this relaxed state, the tissues are more likely to block your airway, obstructing the flow of air as you breathe and resulting in vibrations that produce the sound we know as snoring.
The following conditions can affect the airway and cause snoring:
- Your mouth anatomy: Having a low, thick soft palate can narrow your airway. People who are overweight may have extra tissue in the back of their throat that may narrow the airway. Additionally, if the uvula is elongated, airflow can be obstructed and vibration may increase.
- Alcohol consumption: Consuming alcohol before bedtime can also cause snoring. Alcohol relaxes the throat muscles and decreases the body’s natural defense against airway obstruction.
- Nasal problems: Chronic nasal congestion or a deviated septum may contribute to your snoring.
- Sleep apnea: Snoring also may be associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is a serious condition in which your throat tissues partially or completely block your airway, preventing you from breathing during sleep.
What are the Symptoms of Snoring?
Depending on the cause(s) of your snoring, symptoms may include:
- Noise during sleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sore throat
- Restless sleep
- Gasping or choking at night
- High blood pressure
- Chest pain at night
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms listed above, please schedule an appointment today.