Don’t Ignore the Snore

Barbara Tritz
· June 8, 2023 ·

4 minutes

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The theme so far has been nasal airway and better breathing. Now we dive deeper into noisy breathing – the dreaded snore. We all laugh when we hear someone snoring and rattling the shutters. We think it’s cute when baby snores a little. They call it a flutter. What if I told you they were actually choking from the inside?

Now things get real…

Snoring is a noise made due to blockage of the airway similar to being choked or strangled from the inside. Snoring can be a sign of serious oxygen deprivation.

Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea but if you snore please find out why and fix it.

Children should NEVER EVER SNORE. EVER! Oxygen deprivation kills brain cells. Low oxygen levels affect the brain and heart. Children “may” outgrow snoring but the damage it does within their bodies and brain has long range implications for the rest of their lives. (More on that in a moment.) Don’t ignore the snore!

Snoring Stats

Snoring affects approximately 45% of the general population sometimes and 25% snore all the time. Ten to 12% of children snore. That’s a lotta noise goin’on!

Sleep suffers when we cannot breathe, preventing us from reaching the deeper stages of sleep. We wake up grumpy, achy, and tired. (And, our bed partner is also tired, grumpy and very frustrated.) We all need deep restful sleep to be our healthiest best selves.

Unsweet Sounds Rock the Night

Snoring puts negative pressure on the back of the throat. As I tell my patients, as we “mature” everything gets saggy and baggy both outside the body (and thus we head to the gym) and inside the body. The soft palate also loses muscle tone. The tongue loses muscle tone too. Throw in our friend gravity. The tongue falls into the airway and closes it off. Things are collapsing everywhere inside.

The airway starts at the nose so maybe the patient has a deviated septum, a tongue tie, or enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Maybe the airway is too small, or the tonsils block the throat. Lots of “maybes” that need to be sleuthed out and investigated. Finding the source is critical because we have no oxygen reaching the brain, heart, and body.

We have a recipe for an airway disaster.

How Do They Breathe with Two Golf Balls in their Throat?

•Snoring is the beginning. Snoring is a sleep breathing disorder • Snoring is NOT HEALTHY!!

Snoring affects every part of the body: lungs, nerves, GI tract, Immune system, bladder, brain, heart and more.

Don’t Ignore Snoring Children

Children who snore, even for six months will have lasting consequences. Research by Dr. Karen Bonuck of Albert Einstein Medical College showed that young children with sleep-disordered breathing are prone to developing behavioral difficulties such as hyperactivity and aggressiveness by age seven. Children are very vulnerable to a lack of oxygen. (Did I even need to tell you that?) Bonuck’s more recent research showed that kids with breathing disorders and/or fragmented sleep are more likely to be overweight by age 15. It has a definite impact on school performance. Upwards of 25 to 50% of children diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) may actually be sleep deficient and once you address the airway, they no longer need medication.

Snoring is a desperate cry for help for these children. Don’t ignore the snore.

Look at the angle of her head. She’s trying to breathe.

When snorers STOP snoring, that does not mean the patient is cured, it really means there is complete collapse of the airway.

Fix the Snore

So, do you snore? The best way to find out is ask your bed partner. Next best is to download an app that measures your sleep via your phone.I just got a fancy watch that records just about everythign. Technology is wonderful and quite reveiling. Record your children too.

What can we do about snoring? Get the tongue out of the airway. To do this we may need to release the tongue tie, do myofunctional therapy -this is essentially like taking your mouth muscles to the gym to make your oral muscles tight and firm, and expansion of the mouth by an airway-focused dentist. The continuous positive air pressure machine called a CPAP is an important tool to keep the airway open. I use one as I work on expanding my dental arches and fixing my sleep-breathing problems.

Cpap may not be sexy, but sleeping deeply and being rested is sexy.

As I did the research for this article, I found a sleep website that said “ Snoring on its own is usually considered a harmless – albeit highly disruptive – phenomenon…” Snoring is HARMLESS??? I think choking, poor sleep, ruining hearing and relationships as well as damaging brain cells are far from harmless. If you or a family member snores, and a health provider says not to worry, please find a new and better provider. Snoring is damaging the entire body. Investigate and help your body breathe. Your life depends on it.

Snoring is not sexy. Don’t ignore the snore, please.

Don’t ignore the snore. Find the root cause(s) and fix it. Snoring may be quite common but it it not healthy breathing.

Breathe well my friends.

Warmly,

Barbara Tritz

Specialist in Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy and a BIG fan of Quiet, Healthy Breathing

Hello, I'm Barbara Tritz

Unveiling the Stories Behind Dental Hygiene

Loving science, especially biology, from an early age, Barbara is a registered dental hygienist, certified biological hygienist, and orofacial myofunctional therapist. In 2019, she received the Hu-Friedy/ADHA Master Clinician Award from the American Dental Hygienist Association.

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