Even though your Austin dentist’s main concern is helping you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile, there are several things that can contribute to oral health that we don’t often think about. One of these things is snoring. Believe it or not, snoring can affect more than just your bed partner. In fact, snoring can often be a sign of something more serious and put your teeth at risk for serious problems.
Is it Snoring or Sleep Apnea?
Snoring is one of the most common signs of sleep apnea, a serious condition that affects how you breathe at night. There are two types of sleep apnea called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea. OSA is caused when the soft tissues in the throat collapse and block off the airway whereas central sleep apnea is a faulty signal between the brain and the breathing muscles. Either way, sleep apnea can cause someone to stop breathing several times a night, preventing the body from getting enough oxygen.
However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, of the 90 million American snorers, about half have sleep apnea, and the rest are referred to as primary snorers and simply snore the night away. It’s important to talk with your dentist and your medical doctor about any snoring problems so you can get the right treatment for yourself.
How Snoring Affects Teeth
Snoring can cause some concerns for your dentist in Austin and put your oral health at risk for some serious problems. Since those who snore breathe out of their mouths instead of their noses all night long, they’re more likely to suffer from dry mouth. Dry mouth on its own doesn’t sound serious, but it can lead to some long-term problems.
You see, a healthy mouth needs saliva to rinse away acids and bacteria. But when a mouth is too dry, it means there’s not enough saliva to do its job properly. This can increase the risk of:
- Gum disease
- Bad breath
- Tooth loss
Some signs that you may be snoring or mouth breathing at night are a sticky mouth, dry mouth, or bad morning breath. Make sure you tell your dentist in Austin if this happens.
Snoring can keep both you and your bed partner from getting a good night’s rest, and this can make you both sleepy throughout the day and cause other problems throughout the body such as diabetes, depression, heart disease, and high blood pressure. It’s important to take all snoring seriously so you can protect yourself from either the dangers of sleep apnea or snoring.