While many people think of snoring as an annoyance, it can sometimes mean there are underlying issues at play. By taking care of these issues, you can reduce snoring incidences, make your partner happy, and prevent further health issues from developing, such as high blood pressure and stroke.
Although issues like sleep apnea are a well-known cause of snoring, there are also some unexpected dental causes for snoring. If you suffer from loud or frequent snoring, ask TruBlu Dentistry how we can help fix it.
What is Snoring?
Snoring happens when the soft tissue inside your mouth, nose, or throat fully or partially blocks your airways. This obstruction causes intense vibrations heard as snores. While this isn’t always a problem, especially if it only occurs after a night of drinking or if you sleep in an unusual position, it can also stop your breathing for several seconds every few minutes. This disorder is called sleep apnea and can seriously affect your health.
Snoring can happen because your tongue and soft palate muscles relax too much, obstructing your airways from nasal congestion caused by a cold or allergies, or smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking sleeping pills.
1. Tooth Grinding
If you ever wake up with a tight jaw and sore teeth, you might be grinding your teeth overnight. Teeth grinding, or bruxism can result from untreated stress or anxiety, or a misaligned jaw. Although some cases are mild, teeth grinding can also cause significant damage to your teeth, result in painful jaw tension and headaches, make you snore loudly, and disrupt your sleep.
Your dentist can fit you with a mouthguard to protect your teeth while you sleep, and minimize snoring.
2. Wisdom Teeth
If you never had your wisdom teeth removed, they could be the cause of your snoring. For patients with small mouths, their wisdom teeth could only partially erupt, resulting in impaction, swelling, and gum tenderness. If left untreated, the swollen gums could trap food particles and bacteria causing an infection known as pericoronitis, causing you to sleep with your mouth open.
If you notice bad breath or tender gums in the back of your mouth, make an appointment with your dentist. Removing the wisdom teeth can eliminate the infection and reduce the likelihood of snoring.
3. TMJ or TMD
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to your skull and is essential for chewing and talking. A temporomandibular disorder (TMD) can result from trauma, stress, tension, arthritis, or abnormal joint movement, causing you swelling, discomfort, and unexplained snoring. Snoring due to TMDs typically occurs due to changes in the jaw position as you sleep. It can also cause your tongue to sit further back in the mouth which obstructs the airway and contributes to snoring.
While the precise treatment depends on the cause of your snoring, your dentist may recommend trying a nose strip or a device to help hold your jaw in place while sleeping. The dentists at TruBlu Dentistry have extensive experience helping those who suffer from sleep apnea and other sleep disorders find and fix the source of the problem.
Our dentists use a noninvasive treatment called Silent Nite to treat many forms of snoring and sleep apnea. This fully customized mouth guard pulls your lower jaw forward at night to open your airways and reduce the likelihood of obstruction.
If you frequently wake up exhausted despite sleeping for hours, or your partner complains about your loud snoring, schedule an appointment at TruBlu Dentistry to unearth the cause and find a solution.
Our dentists can also prescribe dental treatments to fix any damage your teeth grinding or TMD has caused like worn-down teeth or tooth decay. Call our practice today to learn how we can help you sleep better.