Dr Parneet Sehmi: Why Snore?

Health & Hygiene
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Hermes Dental’s Dr Parneet Sehmi offers stopping snoring advice

Leading dentist Dr Parneet Sehmi from the Hermes London Dental Clinic offers advice regarding the why's and the wherefores of stopping snoring.

Snoring affects an estimated 30 million people in the UK, and in July, searches by Brits for “stop snoring” and “stop snoring mouthpieces” rose by 212% and 1,200% respectively, most likely brought on by the warmer weather.

With some of the hottest weather ever recorded in the United Kingdom, the summer season also brings with it the peak allergy season as thousands are left struggling with hay-fever as trees, plants, and grass come into season. While it leaves many to suffer from cold-like symptoms, hay-fever can also disrupt people’s sleep, and lead to snoring and difficulties breathing at night.

Research indicates that 45% of adults snore occasionally, and 25% of people are regular snorers. The condition is caused by your tongue, mouth, throat, or the airways in your nose, vibrating as you breathe because they relax and narrow when you’re asleep. Snoring can be caused by your personal lifestyle habits, and there are some easy adjustments that can be made to allow you and those around you to sleep more peacefully.

Adopt a Healthier Lifestyle

A common reason why people tend to snore is due to being overweight or out of shape. Excess weight around the neck or throat can cause snoring. You may wish to address this through weight loss, as regular exercising can help resolve snoring altogether.

Reduce Alcohol Consumption

If you find that you snore after consuming alcohol, it’s not a coincidence. Drinking alcohol can impact your sleep and increase your chances of snoring, as your throat muscles become relaxed and can obstruct the airways. If you can, reduce or avoid consumption of alcohol for at least two hours before you go to sleep, as this can help reduce snoring, and can also reduce the chances of a sore head the next morning.

Quit Smoking

Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 different chemicals that can be detrimental to your systemic health and is directly linked to mouth cancer. Some 90% of oral cancer cases are caused by smoking. It can also irritate the membranes in the nose and throat, leading to blocked airways which exacerbates snoring. You may wish to cut down or quit smoking for a quick solution which will greatly benefit your oral health. If you are a smoker, it’s important you visit the dentist more frequently and explore smoking cessation.

A Good Night’s Sleep

Sometimes, snoring can be a result of over-exhaustion, especially if you’re finding that you have recently started snoring out of the blue. Typically, people who work long hours, or are subject to shift patterns, are much more likely to snore when compared to patients that work consistent hours. I recommend people aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night, not only to reduce snoring, but also to feel better overall.

Sleep on your Side

Sometimes, the issue can simply be due to the position you lie in while asleep. Sleeping on your back can result in blocked airways when your tongue moves to the back of your throat. People may be better off sleeping on their sides, as it allows air to flow more easily, and in many cases, eliminates snoring altogether.

Custom-Made Mouthpieces

One of the most successful and effective methods of eliminating snoring is with a custom-made snoring mouthpiece. Your dentist is best placed to provide these snoring solutions, as they can create a mouthpiece made from impressions taken of your mouth for a more comfortable fit. The mouthpiece is then worn at night, and it allows for better breathing by comfortably holding the bottom jaw in a slightly forward position. By breathing more freely, snoring is then eliminated and you and your partner can enjoy a better night’s sleep.

Undetected Health Condition

While snoring is most likely to be caused by the season and lifestyle choices, people should be aware that snoring can also be related to an undetected health condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). This condition is marked by repeated pauses in breathing during sleep due to partial or complete collapse of the airway.

Symptoms can include breathing cessation, abrupt awakenings accompanied by gasping, choking, or waking with a dry mouth or sore throat.

While snoring is usually just annoying for yourself and your partner, it’s important to look out for any signs of OSA. If you feel that you have symptoms you need to get it checked out. Speak with your dentist about arranging a solution, such as a custom-made mouthpiece.

For more information, visit https://hermeslondondentalclinic.com/