People are often surprised to discover that snoring can actually lead to a special trip to the dentist Vancouver. Your sleeping habits can have a major impact on your physical health, and that includes your teeth. From grinding to snoring, you may not know you’re doing it, but your dental health could be impacted. In this article, we focus on snoring, including what it is, why it happens, and how it can impact your pearly whites.
Snoring is the sound that results from a person’s airways being partially blocked during sleep. During sleep, the muscles in the roof of the mouth, tongue, and throat relax. These soft tissues in the throat can relax enough to partially obstruct the airway. These then vibrate as air flows past, generating the sound that we call snoring. As the airway becomes more narrow, the more forceful the airflow becomes. This causes an increase in vibration of the tissues, which is what causes snoring to become louder.
Snoring is very common and can affect almost anyone. There are many common causes of snoring, including:
- Body Conditions: Some people snore due to their body type. Also, some people may have a narrow airway due to a low, thick, soft palate, an elongated uvula, or large tonsils or adenoids.
- Congestion: Congestion may cause snoring by obstructing the air flow when breathing.
- Substances: Products such as alcohol or tobacco can relax the muscles in the throat and decrease the natural defenses against the obstruction of the airway, causing snoring.
Here’s What You Need to Know about Snoring and Dental Health:
Dry mouth is a main, direct effect of snoring. Saliva is needed to coat and moisten oral tissues. Lack of saliva due to snoring may lead to several oral health problems. Such problems include halitosis (bad breath), burning mouth syndrome, infections and sores, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Saliva is necessary to clean the mouth. This is done by washing the tongue, gums, and build-up of dead cells. When these cells are not removed, they decompose and create an odor. Lack of saliva may cause a burning sensation of the tongue, lips, gingiva, palate, throat, or the whole mouth. Lack of saliva allows harmful bacteria and other organisms in the mouth to grow too quickly. This can result in infection and sores. Without the buffering and cleansing effects of saliva, tooth decay and gum disease become more prevalent. Strict oral hygiene is imperative to reduce the chance of these oral health problems.
Snoring may also be a sign of a serious medical condition called sleep apnea which would need further investigation and treatment by your medical doctor.
If you’re told you snore regularly, tell your dentist at your next appointment. They will be able to make recommendations and refer you to a specialist if necessary. Schedule your next dental appointment with Atlantis Dental Roundhouse today.