various bottles of alcohol on an orange backgroundIf your spouse or partner has been complaining about your snoring, or your roommate is searching for another apartment because good sleep is just not happening, it may be time for you to act. A number of different things cause people to snore, and most of them are directly related to health and lifestyle. Snoring can only be prevented if the cause is known, so understanding what causes people to snore will allow you to know where to seek snoring treatment. 

If you live in or around Wilmington, North Carolina and are hoping to learn more about the causes of snoring and how to prevent snoring, you’ve come to the right place. A Wilmington sleep apnea dentist will have experience with diagnosing and treating issues related to snoring. 

An important first step in getting snoring treatment in Wilmington is to find out what is causing your loud and/or excessive snoring. The answer may be as simple as this: alcohol. Yes, even just one drink in the hours before bedtime may cause your snoring, and excessive alcohol intake prior to going to sleep will most certainly lead to a loud night of snoring.

How Alcohol Produces Snoring as You Sleep

Let’s first take a look at the biology and physiology of alcohol’s effect on the body, and in particular, alcohol’s effect on the respiratory system at night. Everyone knows that alcohol is a depressant. Within ten to twenty minutes after consumption, alcohol begins to affect the human body, and it stays in the body for a very long time. Regardless of how much you drink, it will likely take up to 14 hours for the body to fully rid itself of the alcohol you’ve consumed. As the alcohol makes its way through your body, your muscles will relax and feel less tense; this includes the muscles in the mouth and throat. 

When the muscles in the throat become more relaxed, you are more likely to snore because blockages of airways in the nose, mouth, and throat lead to snoring. Alcohol relaxes the muscles so much that the tissue in the throat collapses and blocks your airway. When the tissue is collapsed and the airway is blocked, your air oxygen passageway is no longer open and clear. This is when snoring occurs. 

The more alcohol has relaxed your airway, the louder the snoring will be. Snoring is the sound produced when your airway is trying to force oxygen through and is medically known as “respiratory resistance.” Drinking alcohol prior to sleep may cause your respiratory resistance to be as high as eight times higher than the respiratory resistance in someone who does not drink alcohol prior to sleep. Simply put, the muscles in the back of the throat close more quickly in an intoxicated person than in a sober person. The more you drink, the more relaxed your muscles become and the more you will snore.

The Snoring-Sleep Apnea Connection

A Wilmington, North Carolina sleep apnea dentist will tell you that Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that affects millions of Americans, and it can be serious if it’s left untreated. Obstructive sleep apnea, when left untreated, can lead to a whole host of medical conditions including:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

If you snore, you likely have sleep apnea, and if you have sleep apnea, you likely snore. For this reason, it’s important to find a Wilmington sleep apnea dentist who can assess the severity of your problem and provide treatment. One of the most successful Wilmington sleep apnea treatments is oral appliance therapy, in which you wear an oral appliance while you sleep. The appliance forces the lower jaw forward while you sleep which helps to keep your airway unblocked. 

You will likely have to reduce or altogether eliminate alcohol in order to stop snoring completely. However, the first step in seeking treatment of sleep apnea in Wilmington is to find a dentist who has the training and experience necessary to evaluate this serious problem and provide appropriate treatment.

Get Treatment for Snoring in Wilmington, North Carolina

Please contact Kuzma Advanced Dentistry at (910) 392-6060 today if you’re tired of being tired from a bad night’s sleep. You may fill out our online contact form, and one of our dental team members will reach out shortly. Treatment for sleep apnea in Wilmington does not have to involve surgery or drugs. Aren’t you ready to stop snoring and get the great sleep you and your partner need?