From taking its toll on relationships to interrupting sleep and having a serious impact on individual’s health and wellbeing, snoring affects an estimated 30 million people in the UK alone. As well as the inevitable nuisance to snorers and their families alike, snoring also has a damaging impact on our oral health. Some of the most common mouth-related complaints of Britain’s 15 million snorers include dry mouth, sore throat and morning breath. The good news is that these conditions can be managed successfully by adopting a robust oral hygiene regimen, but left untreated, can have a detrimental effect on our oral and overall health.
As National Snoring Week (April 23rd to April 29th 2018) approaches; dentist, bacteriologist and founder of The Breath Company, Dr. Harold Katz looks at the impact of snoring on our oral health.
Dr. Katz is an internationally recognised expert in the fields of bad breath, taste disorders, tonsil stones and dry mouth. Known as the ‘Bad Breath Guru’, he has helped millions of people around the world to neutralise their bad breath problems, even publishing, ‘The Bad Breath Bible’, a book containing the definitive guide to the causes and solutions to prevent bad breath and taste disorders, which today has sold 1,000,000 copies in print and millions of downloads.
Dry Mouth – Caused by repeated snoring. As you sleep through the night your salivary glands slow down because your brain knows you’re not eating. This can result in a lack of saliva causing the tongue and palate to dry out. The lack of saliva can allow for bacterial growth in the mouth which can not only lead to symptoms such as bad breath but sometimes far worse health problems.
Morning Breath – Similar to snorers who develop dry mouth, morning breath is a result of sleeping with an open mouth, consequently drying out the tongue and palate. Without saliva to wash away bacteria, oral microorganisms begin to grow and multiply. As they consume matter on the tongue, they emit smelly sulphuric gases that give morning breath its distinctive smell.
How to Relieve Snoring
1- Stop (or at least cut down) on smoking and consuming alcohol (two major factors in developing dry mouth).
2- Snoring is more common in people who are overweight, so exercise and a healthy diet is important, as is staying hydrated so be sure to drink plenty of water during the day. This will also help to prevent dry mouth.
3- Focus on breathing through your nostrils and not your mouth. Mouth breathing actually increases the effort it takes to breathe. Try to train yourself by breathing through your nose during the day and your body will be encouraged to do the same whilst you sleep.
4- It’s thought that sleeping on your side can help alleviate snoring so it’s worth investing in a special pillow or bed wedge to encourage sleeping on one side.
5- Adopt a robust oral hygiene routine to avoid more serious oral health issues from occurring. Brush, floss and rinse regularly but steer clear of alcohol-based mouthwashes that can cause dry mouth – masking odours rather than actually killing off bacteria.
6- If snoring is having a huge effect on your health and wellbeing, it’s imperative that you visit your GP.