Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley CA
Nearly 37 million people in the U.S. snore regularly. Are you one of them? How about your partner or a family member? Snoring is a sign that your body isn’t getting enough air while you sleep. Additionally, it disrupts your sleep cycle, which is why obstructive sleep apnea sufferers often complain of mood swings, daytime fatigue, forgetfulness and difficulty losing weight. Therefore, it’s essential to determine the cause of your snoring so that you can get the most effective treatment. So today on the blog, our airway dentists in Scotts Valley share common causes of snoring.
As you age, you may find that your sleep habits change. It’s not uncommon for older individuals to struggle falling asleep or experience frequent awakenings. However, there may be other causes to your sleep loss. Your body naturally loses muscle tone, even in the neck and airways, as you age. As a result, your airway may relax to the point that it restricts or completely interrupts the flow of air, resulting in airway tissue vibrating that causes a snoring sound.
Enlarged adenoids or tonsils, or a deviated septum can restrict the airway and lead to snoring. Sometimes, anatomical features that block airways are only temporary, like during colds or seasonal allergies, which can be managed by over-the-counter medications in most cases. However, it’s important to undergo an airway screening to confirm the cause of your restricted airway.
Everyone has their preferred sleeping position for different reasons. If you prefer sleeping on your back and it causes you to snore, consider changing positions. Or you can prop yourself in a more inclined position by using pillows. If you aren’t sure which sleep positions worsen your snoring, ask your sleep partner if they have observed any changes.
Drinking alcohol before bed in hopes of relaxing and sleeping better may end up backfiring. It’s a myth that alcohol induces sleep and helps you sleep longer or uninterrupted. While alcohol does help relax muscles, it also relaxes the airway, leading to snoring or even gasping for air while asleep. Ideally, limit your intake of alcohol and avoid drinking too close to bedtime.
Overweight individuals or those that have increased fat deposits around their necks are more likely to be snorers. Consequently, since snoring impacts sleep quality, it may also equate to difficulty losing weight or weight gain. Therefore, if you struggle to lose weight or are gaining weight without any other explanation, consider a sleep apnea screening in Scotts Valley to determine if you could be at risk for obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea
Another, more serious cause of snoring is obstructive sleep apnea, which can occur in individuals of any age, health status, and weight. Even athletes in peak condition have been known to have obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when soft tissue blocks the airway and losing weight, avoiding alcohol, and changing sleep position won’t help the condition. Instead, sleep apnea dentists in Scotts Valley offer a custom-made oral appliance that helps reposition the lower jaw so that the airway remains open while sleeping and reduces snoring.
Sleep Apnea Screening in Scotts Valley, Los Gatos and Santa Cruz, California
Determining the cause of your snoring should be your first step in seeking treatment. Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry offers airway screenings to help determine if you may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Effective treatment with oral appliance therapy can help you get the restful sleep you long for, without snoring. Learn more by calling (831) 438-4411 or schedule a consultation online.