Nearly half of the entire American population snores. Snoring is caused by the vibration of throat tissues when air comes in. Some of the factors that can trigger snoring includes enlarged tonsils or tongue, obesity, deviated septum, narrow or dry throat, enlarged tongue, and nasal polyps. If you snore, you not only disrupt your sleep but those of people who sleep nearby as well. It could mean that you have a serious condition called obstructive sleep apnea. Before your partner starts sleeping in a separate room, you’ll want to know the cause and find the cure for snoring.
Sleeping on your back can partly block and narrow the air passage and trigger snoring. Sleeping on your side can stop snoring since it prevents the tongue from sliding back so air can freely pass through. Other effective preventive methods include using a snoring pillow, sleeping in a bed that elevates your head or sleeping on your stomach.
A dental mouthpiece to prevent snoring can be custom-fitted by your dentist. It will keep the tongue and soft palate in proper alignment to keep the airway open. Known side effects of wearing the mouthpiece are jaw and facial discomfort, dry mouth and heavy salivation. A very effective device is the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (C-PAP) which pumps air through the mouth using a pressurized mask. The downside is the machines noise can also interrupt sleep.
Physical defects that cause snoring such as deviated septum, thick soft palate and enlarged tonsils can be remedied by conventional corrective surgery, laser surgery and radio frequency tissue ablation.
Snoring caused by obesity can be remedied by a more active and healthier lifestyle. Doing voice exercises for three months will strengthen the muscles of the throat and palate. Avoid alcohol and tranquilizers as they can cause the tongue and throat muscles to relax.