A Brief Explanation About Snoring
When we breathe, air should pass through our nose and past the flexible structures at the back of our throat, including the tongue, soft palate and uvula. While we are awake, muscles hold our airway open. Normally when we fall asleep these muscles relax, but our airway remains open. Snoring is simply the sound of obstructed breathing during sleep. While snoring can be harmless, it can also be the sign of a more serious medical condition called obstructive Sleep Apnoea, or OSA.
Why Do We Snore?
Snoring occurs when the structures in our throats are large and our muscles relax enough to cause our airway to narrow and partially block the flow of air. Air tries to pass through these blockages, and our throat structures vibrate causing the sound we know as snoring. Large tonsils, a long soft palate, an enlarged uvula and excess fat deposits contribute to our airway narrowing and causing us to snore. When our throat muscles relax in sleep, they are less effective in holding our breathing passages open. The soft sides of our airway tend to collapse, and the air has to move faster through a smaller space. This creates vibrations of the soft tissues and generates the noise called snoring. It has been shown that excess body weight; heavy alcohol consumption, sedatives and sleeping on your back can increase the severity of snoring.
Why Do We Snore?
While not everyone who snores suffers from Sleep Apnoea, we suggest that if you have been heard to gasp for breath or have sudden spells of drowsiness during the day, then you should obtain a referral to a qualified specialist. Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is an extremely serious medical condition and if left undiagnosed it may lead to a number of serious health problems or possibly even death.
Dental Excellence is located in Castle Hill, Sydney (NSW ) and provides Cosmetic, Reconstructive and Implant Dentistry.