Snoring isn’t just an annoyance. It can have major health consequences.
What is Snoring?
Snoring is caused by an obstruction that restricts the flow of air in the throat. The obstruction can be caused by:
- Poor muscle tone in the throat and tongue—when muscles relax they can collapse into the airway. Alcohol use and sleeping pills can make this more likely.
- Thick throat tissue—Excess weight can be a contributing factor.
- Swollen tonsils and adenoids—Most common in children.
- Long uvula or soft palate
- Nasal congestion
- Deviated septum
Men and women who snore may have a condition called sleep apnea—a potentially health-threatening condition in which your breathing lapses while you are snoozing. This can occur hundreds of times at night.
If your snoring keeps your bed partner from sleeping, his or her health is also influenced. Failure to get enough healthy sleep contributes to a multitude of physical and mental conditions.
Most of us have experienced trouble concentrating when we haven’t gotten enough sleep. Did you know that can limit a person’s motor function and reaction time as seriously as intoxication?
Other possible health problems related to insufficient sleep include heart disease, obesity, depression, and diabetes.
So why is an article about snoring and sleep deprivation in a dental blog? Your dentist can treat either of these potentially harmful conditions.
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