While dentists are best known for providing quality dental services in fixing and maintaining your oral health, there are some cases where they can assist in eliminating a patient’s snoring. This is often done by creating more room to breathe. Patients have found their snoring habits reduced and their breathing improved by improving the alignment of their teeth with Invisalign or by restoring worn surfaces of their teeth with dental restorations. In some cases oral appliances, similar to a retainer, or minor oral surgery options can be used.
At Smile Reston Heights, we strive to do all we can for our patients, whether it be to relieve their snoring issues or symptoms of active tooth infection, gum disease and more. We also seek to return our patients’ confidence in their smile through our cosmetic dentistry services. This variety of expertise, as well as our welcoming staff and open availability, is what makes our dental practice among the most popular in Reston, Virginia.
Here’s what you should know about snoring and how your dentist can help prevent it:
What Causes Snoring?
Generally, snoring is caused by a partial or complete blockage of your airway. The blockage is usually caused by an abnormality in how your tongue and the soft tissues in your mouth rest once you lie down to sleep.
Once this happens, the air coming from your nose and mouth has to find some way back to your lungs. So, the air forces the soft tissues in your mouth to vibrate as it passes through, producing the sound of snoring. In addition, the more your airway is obstructed, the louder your snoring often gets.
While the above describes how snoring is caused, there are several other causes that lead to severe snoring issues among individuals. Here’s a shortlist of some specific causes:
- Some individuals are born with a lowered, thick, soft palate, a lengthy uvula, or enlarged tonsils, which narrows their airway.
- Individuals with weight issues may have more tissue in their airway and around their throat, constricting them from allowing proper airflow.
- Excessive alcohol or tobacco use can also cause the muscles to relax more than they should, thus artificially causing airway blockages.
Snoring often causes individuals to experience tiredness and fatigue throughout their day, and if it is severe enough, it may be a sign that they are suffering from sleep apnea, a serious sleep condition where an individual is no longer able to breathe properly due to a heavily obstructed airway.
What Dental Services Can Do To Help Prevent Snoring
While there are many specialists out there that specifically treat sleep disorders, you should also consider asking your dentist about possible snoring prevention treatments.
Dentists often deal with areas of the mouth, tongue, and throat, and have knowledge about how the mouth can affect the airway.
One potential treatment they can perform is to conduct partial oral surgery in which they remove some of the excess tissue that is obstructing your airway. This procedure is not often used, as it is invasive, and the affected areas are not always where a dentist is most familiar with.
A safer, less invasive solution that most dentists provide is oral appliance therapy. This is when an oral appliance, also known as a “mandibular advancement device”, is used to support the jaw while you are laying down, keeping it in a forward position.
The appliance is similar to a retainer, as it is custom-fitted to your teeth and mouth in order to allow the upper airway to remain open in order for air to flow through, thus relieving any issues with snoring or symptoms of sleep apnea.
Smile Reston Heights: Top-Notch Dental Services in Reston, VA
Snoring is indeed a troublesome, but preventable condition, and talking to your dentist can return you and your bed partner a well-deserved amount of rest and comfort in the future. Smile Reston Heights provides extensive dental services in snoring prevention, as well as in tooth restoration, gum disease treatment, and more. Our staff ensures you get the earliest available appointment and will assist you in getting the services you need by providing generous payment options.
Call us at (703) 345-1100 and schedule an appointment with the top dental practice in Reston, VA.