Is it true that snoring means you are more likely to get heart disease? My sister-in-law mentioned that and now I’m super worried about my husband because he is a massive snorer. She also said a dentist can help which confuses me completely. Can you help me understand if this is true and if so, how a dentist can help?
There is a reason your sister-in-law is mentioning it, but snoring alone isn’t the problem. Snoring is usually a result of sleep apnea. This is caused by the muscles in the back of his throat relaxing while he sleeps. Unfortunately, this means they are relaxing into his air passage. This what is leading to the snoring.
In some cases, the air passage can be completely blocked. This will cause him to stop breathing momentarily. Then, his brain, recognizing he isn’t breathing will startle him awake so he will breathe again. This will happen over and over again throughout the night.
The stress of the breathing then not breathing over and over again throughout the night is what causes the stress on his heart. Those who have this type of sleep apnea are at a greater risk of not just heart disease, but also stroke and high blood pressure.
You can ask your dentist if he has had both sleep apnea training as well as experience treating it. You generally want to start with the most conservative treatment possible. Snoring can usually be solved with a simple oral appliance. It fits a bit a bit like a sports mouthguard but is more comfortable because it is custom-designed to the patient’s bite. By gently repositioning his jaw into the proper position, your husband’s passageway will be opened up and he can breathe freely without snoring.
I hope this helps clear some things up and tells you how to help your husband with his snoring, plus for you to get a quiet night of sleep as well.
This blog is brought to you by Sugar Land Dentist Dr. Siny Thomas.