What Causes Snoring?

Snoring is an unmistakable sound that occurs when a person's airway is partially blocked and usually happens in sleep. Not all snoring is loud or audible, some have what is referred to as the silent snore. When sleeping, the muscles in the soft palate (roof of the mouth), tongue and throat relax enough to cause a partial obstruction of the airway. The audible sound is generated when the soft tissues in the throat vibrate as air flows past. The more narrowed the airway becomes, the more forceful the air flow becomes. This causes an increase in vibration of the tissues, which is what causes snoring to become louder.


Statistics and Causes of Snoring

Snoring is extremely common and can affect almost anyone. The prevalence of habitual snoring has been estimated to be 24 percent of adult women, 40 percent of adult men and 10 to 12 percent of children.

Common causes of snoring, include the following:

·         Anatomical variations: Some people may have a narrow airway due to a low, thick soft palate, an elongated uvula (triangular piece of tissue that hangs from the soft palate) or large tonsils or adenoids. Obese or overweight people tend to have more fat tissue on the back of their throat that may narrow their airway and cause snoring.

·         Nasal and Sinus problems: Chronic nasal congestion may be what causes snoring by obstructing the air flow when breathing.

·         Use of alcohol, sedatives and tobacco: The use of these products can relax the muscles in the throat and decrease the natural defences against the obstruction of the airway, causing snoring.

Other risk factors that contribute to what causes snoring include the following:

·         Being male

·         Being 40 years of age or older

·         Pregnancy

·         Family history of snoring

Effects of Snoring on the Oral Cavity

·         Poor growth of jaws in children who snore

·         Bad Breath

·         Dry Mouth

·         Burning Mouth

·         Dental Caries

·         Erosion of teeth

·         Grinding of teeth and wearing down of teeth

·         Bony growth on the jaws

Dental Management of Sleep Apnoea

·         Mandibular Advancement Splint

 Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

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