A: Dental problems can absolutely be related to snoring. So, snoring itself can be related to sleep apnea. Really, that can be the underlying condition overall.
Some dental problems like excess bone on the lower jaw can basically push back the tongue. Sometimes, things like people who clench or grind—also snore and the root cause is sleep apnea.
So, a lot of these issues are related to what’s called sleep apnea. The condition is where our bodies are not getting enough oxygen as we sleep. So, our mouth will compensate to try and get oxygen. When we’re asleep, our jaw will push forward, our teeth clench, and the tongue pushes the teeth out of the way.
Fortunately, there are appliances and solutions that can help reduce some of these problems.
Snoring, it’s the one thing that all people can relate to. It’s safe to deem it a fact that in every circle of friends, there’s a notorious snorer. If you don’t know who it might be—it’s probably you.
All jokes aside, snoring can be something more serious than just an annoyance it can be dangerous.
Sleep apnea is a condition that affects millions of Americans to varying degrees—for some it is fatal. When sleeping with this condition, your uvula at the back of your throat relaxes. During breathing, it closes the airway for just a moment and then relaxes causing you to “snore.”
When you breathe while sleeping, air normally passes in and out between your nose, mouth, and lungs. Under normal circumstances, this process makes very little noise when relaxed.
However, as we have seen in Corpus Christi sleep apnea studies, breathing can become very turbulent. It’s similar to when working out vigorously and you breath harder, it makes more noise, but nothing startling.
How Can Dental Problems Cause Snoring?
Normal snoring is a common occurrence and is typically not a health risk to worry about. However, you should pay attention to your snoring habits as it can be a warning sign. Sleeping disorders can be dental-related such as acid reflux or teeth-gnashing and might be signs of heart disease. They can also signify throat cancer, emphysema, or a precursor to a stroke. So, it’s better to be proactive and get to the root cause of the problem.
As Dr. Vela mentioned, there can be dental issues that contribute to snoring or sleep apnea and they’re often treatable.
Most of our patients don’t think about sleep apnea treatments when they visit our dental practice. They just don’t realize that dental problems cause snoring sometimes and can be cured within the scope of dentistry.
At Vela Dental Centers, we treat a variety of sleep apnea conditions caused by dental issues through different focused solutions. Using customized medical devices along with practical solutions we can provide the relief many in Corpus Christi need.
Whether it’s excessive jawbone density, underbites, or bruxism causing your snoring or sleep apnea, we can help. By customizing treatments specifically related to your circumstances, we can give you relief when you sleep and keep the airway open.
If you want to understand how dental problems cause snoring or sleep apnea sometimes, you must look at the condition.
A Deeper Look At Snoring
Snoring is something that affects millions of people nationwide. You have likely been impacted by snoring yourself, or indirectly from a loved one. As discussed, the condition can range from a mild annoyance to a debilitating problem.
The root cause can be obvious such as obesity or severe dental issues. However, the root cause can also hide behind the obvious and need a proper diagnosis.
No matter how serious the snoring problem someone has, it’s usually accompanied by several side effects such as:
- Physical and mental fatigue
- Trouble focusing and lack of mental acuity
- Boosted cortisol/stress levels
- High blood pressure
While those conditions only affect the snorer, often their partner or loved ones also suffer a lack of sleep. It is often made light of, but lack of sleep can have serious consequences. It affects your mental health as well as your physical. Touching on the emotional aspect, the snoring partner then feels guilty because they aren’t conscious of the problem. So, what can they do?
Fortunately, when dental problems cause snoring, there are some treatment options available. These options can lessen or eliminate snoring. There are even some dental solutions that can treat snoring that is not directly related to dental problems. First, you must discover the root issue though.
What causes snoring?
When you fall asleep, your muscles relax, this means the ones in your throat as well. When that happens, it can cause the soft tissue to vibrate when you breathe—this is snoring.
However, not everyone whose muscles relax when they sleep snores. There are other factors at play that increase the propensity to snore including:
- Alcohol/substance abuse
- Sinus conditions
Even when dental problems cause snoring, for most people it’s isolated incidents that are harmless. However, their partner is the one who suffers as lack of sleep for them is a byproduct of snoring.
Although, snoring in more severe cases can be a symptom of a serious condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If this condition is not treated properly the complications that can arise can be severe.
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
OSA is a condition related to snoring that is beyond harmless isolated incidents. In fact, it is a persistent condition where patients can stop breathing for extended periods. Every second you go without oxygen your brain is suffocating.
Over the long term, this can have serious consequences that can be life-threatening. How long the airway is blocked can vary but there are two levels of severity identified with sleep apnea:
- Apnea– This is the definitive apnea. Throat muscles relax enough that the airway is totally blocked for at least 10 seconds.
- Hypopnea – While still classified as sleep apnea, there is not a total blockage, rather about 50-75% instead. It is still dangerous as it causes labored or shallow breathing for 10 seconds or longer. This puts a serious strain on your heart, lungs, and brain.
Do Dental Problems Cause Snoring For You?
Many people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea-related snoring seek out their doctor for help. However, you might find that your dentist might be the professional that has the solution.
When dental problems cause snoring for you, a dentist can either play a major part in the treatment or have the solution altogether.
That is because when dental problems cause snoring or compound the underlying issue, you need to see a dentist for problems such as:
- Problematic wisdom teeth
- TMD-related snoring/apnea
- Tongue and jaw positioning
Need Relief From Snoring Related To Dental Problems?
Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial to your overall health. If you or your partner is suffering from snoring that you feel might be related to a dental problem—contact us to schedule an appointment.