This post from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO looks at one of the most aggravating nighttime behaviors: snoring. Specifically, the snoring of someone else disturbs your sleep.
What is going on when a person snores?
Snoring happens when soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses onto the soft palate. This narrows the air passage. As the person breathes, this area opens and closes. It’s amazing how loud it can be.
What is going on in the throat when a person has sleep apnea?
With Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the air passage not only narrows, the person actually stops breathing. These pauses can last for up to a minute and recur hundreds of time each night.
What physical or lifestyle factors are linked to snoring and sleep apnea?
- Thick throat tissue
- Being overweight
- Swollen tonsils and adenoids (this happens more frequently in children than adults)
- Long uvula or soft palate
- Poor muscle tone in the throat and tongue
- Drinking alcohol or taking some medications can cause the throat muscles to collapse
- Deviated septum
- Nasal congestion
Do snoring and sleep apnea always occur together?
Many people with sleep apnea also snore, but not all snorers have sleep apnea. Snoring does not generally wake a person up during the night. Of course, it is likely to wake up the person’s bed partner.
To find out what you can do about snoring and sleep apnea, call us at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO. We’ve helped patients throughout Boulder, Louisville, and Broomfield, who also come to us for complete general and family dentistry. Schedule an appointment today!