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Colonial Dental Group Cosmetic Dentistry Blog - Dooley, Lewis, and Quezada

Monday, October 13, 2008

Why do People Snore?

The person suffering most from snoring is typically not the person who snores, but their spouse. Snoring is caused by mild to severe obstruction of the airway during sleep. As we age, the skin, and muscles around the back of the throat become looser. When sleeping on our backs, they sag and rattle as air passes through, causing the noises we hear.

In some cases, this obstruction becomes severe enough to halt breathing, which is known as sleep apnea. Snoring is a common, but not exclusive, symptom of sleep apnea. A sleep study called a polysomnograph can be conducted to identify this potentially serious condition.

People who are overweight benefit from a weight loss regimen to reduce the amount of soft tissue that causes snoring. Treatment for snoring also includes simple steps such as sleeping on your side. This prevents the tongue from falling back into the throat, adding to the amount of tissue blocking the airway.

A dental appliance, called a mandibular advancement splint might be prescribed, or purchased over the counter. This splint slides the mandible forward slightly, pulling the tongue out of the way. In more severe cases of sleep apnea, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine may be worn at night to ensure that ample air gets through any obstruction.

Sleepless in Chicago? Please contact the Colonial Dental Group today to schedule an initial consultation.

posted by Patti at 8:54 AM

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