Snoring is known to be an annoying habit, but did you know that it can affect your well-being if it continues? Snoring can strain the body, leading to heart and respiratory concerns as well as cognitive impairment. But snoring has a connection to your dental health too, so talk to your dentist if you know you snore when you sleep.
If you ignore snoring, you could put your smile in danger. But dental problems can lead to a snoring habit too. Read on to learn how chronic snoring can affect your oral health over time.
What Happens to Oral Health When You Snore?
Many people who snore also sleep with their mouths open. This excess exposure to dry air for an extended period during the night can dry out your mouth. The dry oral environment can put your oral health at risk of many complications.
For instance, the natural bacteria in your mouth can spread with greater ease, heightening your risk of contracting oral infections like periodontal disease.
This infection of the gum tissue starts with inflamed gums but will progress to deterioration of the teeth and jaw as well. Without treatment, you can experience tooth loss and other irreversible dental damage.
Though your dentist can treat gum disease, ideally, you should prevent periodontal problems like this. So do not ignore snoring, as this behavior could seriously damage your smile over time.
Can Dental Problems Cause Snoring?
Snoring can occur for a number of reasons, including causes related to your dental structure. The soft tissue in the back of the throat can relax and narrow the airway as you sleep. And the air that passes through the throat can vibrate the collapsed tissue, producing the snoring sound.
Conditions like sleep apnea may lead to this problem, but the shape of your smile and jaw can also make you more likely to snore. If you have bite problems, like a protruding jaw or overcrowded teeth, you might have a higher chance of obstructing the airway and therefore snoring. Your dentist can evaluate the extent of these concerns and find the best solution for you during a consultation appointment.
Can My Dentist Treat Chronic Snoring?
Treatment for chronic snoring will depend on the cause of the symptom. If bite problems are creating airway obstructions, your dentist can straighten your smile with Invisalign. More severe malocclusions might need evaluation by an orthodontist.
Your dentist can also address sleep apnea and snoring by giving you a custom-made night guard to wear as you sleep. This oral appliance can keep your jaw in a stable resting position. In turn, it will stop the tissue at the back of the throat from collapsing. Then you can breathe easier, sleep better, and prevent oral health complications.
Sometimes snoring is affected by your lifestyle, including high stress, alcohol consumption, and weight. Pay attention to your habits and consult with your dentist to find ways to improve your airway function and dental health. For more information on how we treat and diagnose airway function problems, see Airway dentistry.