The Dangers of Snoring
Snorers are often the brunt of many family jokes but “sawing logs” long term can lead to serious health problems. Sixty percent of men and forty percent of women between the ages of 41 and 65 are habitual snorers. Snoring increases greatly once people reach the age of 35.
What causes snoring?
Snoring is caused by a narrowing of the upper airway during sleep. This can be due to large tonsils, a long uvula or excessive flabby tissue in the throat. All of these areas relax during sleep. However, the most common cause of narrowing of the upper airway is a tongue muscle that becomes too relaxed during sleep. When relaxed, the muscle is sucked into the back of the throat with each breath that is taken. The relaxed soft tissues of the throat to vibrate and thus causes the sound of snoring.
Is snoring harmful?
Problem snoring, in which the tongue is completely sucked against the back of the throat and blocks breathing, can pose serious health risks. More and more research is concluding that the importance of a full night’s sleep that is uninterrupted and includes all of the sleep cycles is vital to our well-being. When you sleep, your brain catalogues the previous day’s experiences, primes your memory, and triggers the release of hormones regulating energy, mood, and mental acuity. Snoring interrupts this process
Symptoms of snoring:
- Gasping (irregular or stopped breathing during sleep)
- High blood pressure
- Morning headaches
- Extreme daytime sleepiness
- Memory deficit
- Nighttime reflux, heartburn, GERD
Increased risk factors for snoring:
- Gender (more common in men)
- Large neck (>15.7” for women, >16.9” for men)
- Obesity (BMI >30)
- Diagnosis of hypertension
- Excessive use of alcohol, sedatives and tobacco
If this is sounding familiar, it is time to take action! There is an affordable dentist-prescribed solution for a more restful night’s sleep. A custom dental appliance can be made that positions the lower jaw forward using special Side-Link connectors that are attached to upper and lower trays. These trays are comprised of a soft inner layer with a hard outer layer that is durable and BPA-free. All it takes is a quick impression of your mouth and a second appointment for the professional fitting. Reclaim your sleep and improve your health!