Snoring isn't exactly a rare occurrence. You stand a pretty good chance of doing it yourself since around half of all adults will snore in their lifetime (although some will do so more than others). But what's the big deal? Unless your snoring is a sign of a potentially serious condition known as sleep apnea, about the worst your snoring will do is wake up your partner, right? Your snoring can, in fact, cause additional issues, and can sometimes begin to affect your dental health.
Saliva and Oral Health
Your salivary glands produce saliva, which is essential for maintaining your oral health. This good old fashioned spit protects against acidic erosion of your dental enamel, as well as killing microorganisms (bacteria) that contribute to dental erosion. Without sufficient saliva, your teeth are vulnerable to deterioration that can arise due to a decline in this essential protective compound. So how does snoring play a role?
Your snoring has a tendency to dry out your mouth. This obstruction of your breathing during sleep often results in you sleeping with your mouth open as you draw in oxygen. But by keeping your mouth open, you can easily end up dehydrating your mouth, robbing it of that necessary saliva. But is it just as easy as rehydrating as soon as you wake up?
How Your Dentist Can Help
Upping your fluid intake can be effective when your snoring causes your mouth to dry out overnight. But still, any damage might not be evident until it has progressed to something more serious. Regular snorers need to be more vigilant with their visits to the dentist so that any complications can be flagged during the early stages. It can be helpful to schedule your appointments with more frequency than a non-snorer. Your dentist can also recommend ways to stimulate saliva production, such as consuming sugarless gum and candies. Medication can also be prescribed to bring your saliva production back to the level where your teeth are adequately protected.
Your dentist can also offer solutions that can help to reduce or eliminate your snoring, such as a custom made mandibular advancement splint. This will not be appropriate for all snorers, and when your snoring has progressed to the point of sleep apnea, you should consult your doctor.
Occasional snoring won't do much harm, but if you're a regular snorer, then you need to be aware of how the condition can dry out your mouth, potentially putting your teeth at risk.
For more information, contact a local dentist.