What can be done about snoring
In a recent is
sue of the New York Times, snoring once again became national news. While the topic may seem a bit mundane for one of the nation’s newspapers of record, snoring and it’s possible comorbidities such as sleep apnea, are serious issues.
American Sleep and Breathing Academy (ASBA) past president Dr. Kent Smith DDS is quoted in the opening of the article. “Snoring happens when the muscles in the tongue, roof of your mouth and throat relax and constrict airflow. You can’t get a full breath of air, so things start vibrating as they try to allow you to breathe — and the vibration is the snoring sound,” says Smith, a sleep dentist in Dallas. “You’ve got this combination of tissues that over time, when you gain weight, they gain weight. And when you get older, they become a little less toned. So they just tend to clog the airway.
“Excessively dry or wet air can aggravate snoring, as can sleeping at a high altitude,” writes Times reporter Erik Vance. “Sleeping on your back or drinking alcohol before bed tends to make it worse, further relaxing the muscles and allowing the tongue to close the throat and restrict air.” Vance points out that, “snoring itself is not a disorder, no matter what your sleeping partner might say. But sometimes it can be a sign of sleep apnea, a potentially serious condition that causes breathing to repeatedly stop and start throughout the night, preventing you from getting a decent night’s rest. It can also raise the risk of high blood pressure and even heart failure.”
Kent Smith DDS</strong> is a Diplomate of both the American Sleep and Breathing Academy and the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine and is on the Advisory Committee of the Australasian Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.
Source: NY Times