If you struggle with snoring, or have a partner or family member who does, don’t fret: you are not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 90 million Americans deal with snoring.
There are many reasons why you could be snoring – some as simple as what gender you are (men are almost twice as likely as women to snore), or how much you weigh (overweight people are most likely to be affected by snoring). If you want help with your snoring, you may have considered seeing your doctor about the issue; but did you know it’s actually your dentist who could be the key to solving your snoring issues?
Here are three reasons why you should consult your dentist if you’re a snorer:
The dentist can discover the real problem
There are multiple reasons why people snore, as discussed above, but sometimes the problem is harder to identify. One of the main causes of snoring is sleep apnea, which can be difficult to diagnose.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which the airway becomes blocked during sleep, resulting in pauses in breathing or excessively shallow breathing. If you currently suffer from sleep apnea, you may find yourself consistently drowsy during the day, or waking up with headaches (among other symptoms).
Dentists are trained to identify and treat sleep apnea, so a dental visit can help you determine if you’re currently suffering from the condition.
Your dentist can determine the best treatment
Because dentists are intimately familiar with sleep apnea, they can also help you decide on the best treatment. There are multiple treatment options for sleep apnea, which include: CPAP Machines, which blow air through your throat via a hose connected to a facemask worn during sleep; Oral appliances: mouthguards that help keep your airway unobstructed during sleep; and surgery, which is used rarely but can be necessary if your bone structure causes you to be naturally predisposed to sleep apnea.
You and your dentist can keep the problem under control
Once you and your dentist have determined the best treatment for your sleep apnea, your dentist can tailor the treatment specifically for you. For example, if you end up with a CPAP machine, there are dozens of different facemasks available. Some patients experience discomfort or feelings of restriction while using CPAP machines, so selecting the best mask set-up for you is critical. Or if your dentist decides an oral appliance is the best solution, they will mold it specifically to your mouth and adjust it as needed.