Snoring is the noise made when the airway is compromised during sleep. When you breathe normally, there is no noise. Air passes quietly through the nose and past the flexible structures in the back of the throat, such as the soft palate, uvula, tonsils and tongue. While you are awake, muscles hold the airway open. When you fall asleep, these muscles relax, but normally the airway stays open and there is no noise.
Snoring occurs when the throat structures are abnormally large and/or when during sleep the throat muscles relax enough to cause the airway to collapse and partially obstruct air flow. As the lungs try to suck and push air past these obstructions, the structures vibrate as the air rushes past, and the sound we know as snoring occurs. While snoring may be harmless, it can also be a sign of a more serious medical condition, which progresses from upper airway resistance syndrome to obstructive sleep apnea.
Snoring interrupts that restful, quiet sleep which is so important to our good health. It can lead to daytime sleepiness and fatigue, which can affect the ability to function effectively at home and at work, and could lead to health problems. It is important to eliminate snoring so everyone can get a restful night’s sleep and maintain good health.
If you have any questions about snoring or obstructive sleep apnea, please speak with Dr. Cohen or Dr. DeCesare or any one of our Burlington dental, team members here at Lakeside Family Dental today.