Snoring is a common issue that many patients experience worldwide. It often results when the airway is obstructed, which can lead to disrupted breathing and, subsequently, snoring. There are many at-home and doctor-recommended snoring solutions, but which ones really work? Our Sacramento dentist is here to help.
Is snoring disrupting your life? Take action–contact Dr. Timothy Mickiewicz in Sacramento, CA. With years of experience and simple solutions, Dr. Mickiewicz can help you finally get the peaceful sleep you deserve. Call (916) 469-9178 now for appointments and more!
By itself, snoring isn’t always cause for concern. However, it may indicate something more serious, like sleep apnea. That’s why pinpointing and treating the root cause of snoring is so important. Otherwise, our bodies may struggle to keep up with our daily demands. In this blog post, we explore at-home vs. doctor-recommended snoring treatments so that you can make the best choice for you and your sleep health.
What causes snoring?
Before we can treat snoring, we must first explain what it is and why it happens. Snoring is the sound our oral and nasal passages make while turbulent air exits our lungs. It can range from soft to loud, and snoring jags can last for several seconds or minutes. Oftentimes, we can resolve snoring on our own by simply changing our sleep positions to reestablish better airflow to and from the lungs.
However, there are plenty of other factors that can contribute to snoring, such as:
- Alcohol consumption
- Nasal congestion
- Sleep apnea
- Anatomical anomalies
Snoring may result from one, some, or many factors. A trained sleep doctor can help you determine which factors may be contributing to snoring most.
For some patients, simple at-home solutions may be enough to temper turbulent breathing at night. For other patients, however, doctor-recommended treatments may be the only way to get lasting relief. Let’s explore common at-home and doctor-recommended treatments now.
At-Home Snoring Treatments
Many people prefer to start with at-home remedies before seeking medical treatment for snoring. These remedies are generally low-cost and easy to implement, making them a cost-effective and accessible option for most people.
Here are some of the most common at-home snoring treatments:
Changing Sleep Positions
One of the easiest ways for us to reduce snoring is to change our sleep positions.
Sleeping on the back can cause the tongue and soft palate to collapse to the back of the throat, leading to snoring. Sleeping on the side of the body can help keep the airways open, reducing the likelihood of snoring. You can try propping up pillows behind you to help keep you on your side while you sleep.
But, what about sleeping on the stomach to reduce snoring? Well, medical professionals advise against sleeping on the stomach, as it can place extra strain on the neck and spine. However, this sleep position can help keep the airways open during sleep. Ask your healthcare team if this sleep position is safe for you.
Excess weight can contribute to snoring. This is because extra fatty tissue can put pressure on the airways, making breathing more difficult while sleeping.
Losing weight can help reduce or eliminate snoring in some overweight individuals. To safely lose some weight, we recommend:
- Drinking at least 64 fluid ounces of water daily
- Eating plenty of fiber (hello, fresh fruits and veggies!)
- Choosing leaner proteins, like chicken, turkey, and tofu
- Getting moderate activity at least three times a week (try prioritizing weight training for fat loss)
- Getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night
Avoiding Alcohol, Smoking, and Sedatives
Alcohol and sedatives can relax the muscles in your throat, while smoking can lead to nasopharyngeal inflammation. All of these substances and their accompanying side effects can make snoring much more likely while sleeping.
Avoiding these substances before bed can help reduce snoring. Need help substituting these substances for healthier alternatives? Here’s what we recommend to relax before bed instead:
- Taking a warm bath
- Drinking hot, decaffeinated tea
- Doing some light yoga
- Listening to a relaxing audiobook, podcast, or music
Over-The-Counter Nasal Strips
Nasal strips are adhesive strips that sit across the bridge of the nose. They help to widen the nasal passages, making it easier to breathe while slumbering.
Nasal strips are easy to find, as we can purchase them at most grocery or pharmacy chains. Most nasal strips come in packs of 20 to 30 and cost around $10.
Mouthguards often serve a dual purpose–protecting the teeth from grinding while also keeping the airway open. We can find over-the-counter mouthguards at grocery stores and pharmacies, making them an affordable and accessible option for most people.
Doctor-Recommended Snoring Treatments
If at-home remedies are not effective, then it may be time to seek medical treatment. There are several doctor-recommended snoring treatments available, ranging from minimally invasive procedures to surgery. Here are some of the most common doctor-recommended snoring treatments:
Dentist-Made Mouthguards and Oral Appliances
Similar to store-bought mouthguards, dentist-made mouthguards protect the teeth from clenching and grinding while also keeping the airway open. However, the primary difference is that dentist-made appliances are made specifically for you and your smile while store-bought appliances are not. This means that they are much safer and more comfortable to wear.
Alternatively, patients can seek a mandibular advancement device (MAD), which pushes the lower jaw forward to keep the airway free and clear. Dentists also custom-make these appliances to your exact measurements to ensure your ultimate comfort and success.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy
CPAP therapy is a common treatment for obstructive and central sleep apnea, but it can also be effective in reducing turbulent breathing. It involves wearing a mask over the nose and/or mouth while sleeping. The mask delivers a constant flow of pressurized air to keep the airways open and reduce turbulent breathing.
UPPP is often the last resort. It is a surgical procedure that involves removing excess tissue from the back of the throat, including the uvula and part of the soft palate. Patients may require a lengthy recovery period after this procedure.
Snoring Treatments In Sacramento, CA
Experts estimate that roughly a quarter of all adults snore regularly. This means that roughly a quarter of adults aren’t getting adequate sleep every night. Are you one of them? Contact Dr. Timothy Mickiewicz in Sacramento, CA, at (916) 469-9178 or online here to find out now!