Snoring can be annoying to bedmates and others within earshot. The noise we call snoring is caused by restrictions in the body’s airway, which can be the result of congestion, weak or relaxed mouth and throat muscles, or an excess of soft tissue in the throat and back of the mouth. When air is forced through a constricted airway, it will vibrate agains the soft tissues of the throat and mouth, creating the familiar sound of “sawing logs.”
Dental sleep medicine can provide non-invasive solutions for disruptive snoring. By wearing a special mouthguard-like oral appliance during sleep, many people are able to reduce or eliminate their snoring.
Snoring alone may not present a health risk, though more vigorous forms can decrease the quality of sleep. But when snoring is part of a pattern that includes an irregular rhythm, pauses in breath and gasps for air, it may be indicative of a serious condition known as obstructive sleep apnea.
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