Snoring raises the risk of several dental issues. If you’ve been told by loved ones that you’re a habitual snorer, read on to find out how enlightening your dentist could help you receive better preventative care.
Identifying whether you snore
You’ll know you snore if you sleep alongside a partner, but how do you tell if you are a snorer if you are single or live alone? The best way to tell whether you may be a snorer or not is to evaluate your condition upon waking. Here are some typical signs that you might be a snorer.
- Do you feel like you’re exhausted after you’ve slept a full 8 hours?
- Do you feel as though your mouth is continually dry?
- Are you aware that you might have bad breath?
- Are you often plagued with sore throats?
- Do you feel like you have difficulty maintaining your focus during the day?
- Do you feel unsettled or cranky?
The problem of dry mouth
Snorers are mouth breathers, meaning their mouth becomes drier and drier as they sleep as a result of not being able to breathe in a normal manner. Unfortunately, dry mouth is more than just bad breath.
The major problem with dry mouth is that it leaves patients with less saliva, which normally does an excellent job of reducing plaque. When the teeth are surrounded with less saliva, they become prone to decay. Gums are also at risk when it comes to dry mouth, with the risk of gum disease increasing.
If you suffer from dry mouth as a result of snoring, then it is wise to tell your dentist. Your dentist will be able to thoroughly examine your teeth and gums and will schedule more frequent checkups for you as you will be deemed a high-risk patient. This isn’t a bad thing; more regular appointments means your dentist can keep an eye on your unique condition and provide treatments when problems appear.
The wisdom tooth question
It’s surprising to hear that wisdom teeth could be part of the reason why you snore, but in some patients, their teeth are so problematic they interfere with their sleep. If you still have your wisdom teeth and you snore, it’s worthwhile asking your dentist whether the removal of all your wisdom teeth would help you get a better night’s sleep.
Wisdom teeth often become infected due to the fact that it is hard to remove bacteria that gets trapped in the flaps of gums that partially cover the teeth. When wisdom teeth become infected, it results in pain, meaning it is harder to sleep on your side.
Sleeping on your side is the best position to sleep in if you suffer from snoring because it keeps the airway open. Sleeping on your back does the opposite, and if you’re avoiding pain because of wisdom teeth, then it’s wise to schedule an appointment to have them extracted.
Manage snoring, while protecting your teeth
If you suffer from snoring and you’d like to take a proactive approach to avoiding future dental work, then the best thing to do is consider using a sleeping device, known as oral appliance therapy. Oral appliance therapy assists snorers by ensuring the tongue is in the correct position while you are sleeping.
Other types of devices work by holding the jaw in an extended position while you sleep and are have plenty of positive reviews which confirm they are effective at preventing snoring. While they sound uncomfortable, they do take a while to get to used to. Once you’re used to it, it’s like sleeping with nothing at all.
If you want to avoid oral appliance therapy, then its worth investigating the range of anti-snoring nasal sprays on offer today. These sprays work by reducing any swelling in the nasal passage, so you can breathe through your nose easier.
Other anti-snoring options include nasal dilators (which open your nasal passages), salt machines (which mimic the benefits of salt caves – a great environment to reduce snoring), and positive airway pressure. All these options result in a lower chance of dry mouth, meaning you’ll have a lower risk of cavities and less reason to see your dentist.
Proactive oral health guidance
If you suspect you snore, one thing you can do is make an appointment with a sleep certified dentist. You’ll receive treatment to address your specific needs as well as oral health guidance which will help you prevent tooth decay.
In some cases, your dentist will refer you to an otolaryngologist who will identify the specific reason behind your snoring and then assist you in both reducing and managing your snoring.
For a healthier mouth and a better night’s sleep, talk to your local dentist today.