What Causes Snoring?
Snoring is the sound of turbulent airflow through a narrow airway. When you are awake and standing or sitting up, your airway is held open by gravity and by your muscles. But when you lie down, gravity pulls on your airway, and when your muscles relax, your airway basically hangs on your jaw as its only support. The amount of narrowing your airway experiences depends on:
- Your anatomy
- Position of your jaw
- Body fat in the neck
- Alcohol consumption
- Sleeping position
All these factors contribute to the sound of your snoring. The majority of snorers are men, but women can also snore. As you age, you are more likely to snore, but some children are snorers as well.
Is Your Snoring Apnea-Related?
Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when your airway doesn’t just narrow, it closes completely, cutting off air to your body. Sleep apnea is a serious health condition that should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible to avoid negative consequences of sleep apnea, such as heart attack or stroke. If you are a snorer who wakes up tired in the morning, suffers from extreme fatigue, and experiences daytime sleepiness, you should be evaluated for sleep apnea.
Snoring can be treated with an oral appliance. Similar to a sports mouth guard you wear at night, an oral appliance will reposition your jaw to keep your airway open at night.
You may have seen similar appliances advertised on TV or in the drug store, but it’s important to know that these appliances are not properly fitted to your anatomy, so they are unlikely to work. A dentist-fitted appliance will give you good results, diminishing or eliminating your snoring altogether.
Snoring treatment is not usually covered by health insurance, and our office is not an in-network provider for dental or health insurance, but we can assist you in submitting an out-of-network claim to your insurance company.
To learn more about snoring treatment, please contact Dr. Rice’s office in Irvine, California today to schedule a consultation. Call (949) 551-5902.