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Where is snoring coming from?

You have changed into your cozy PJs. You brushed your teeth. You are all set to hit the pillow and gently put your body into a comforter. Warm and fuzzy feelings gently wrap you around. You are ready for sweet dreams.You open the door and here he is…

His mouth is wide open and he is snoring away. You wonder,“How the heck can someone can make that much noise?’ “Where is that sound coming from?”

Is your spouse snoring at night and keeping you awake?

Snoring is an indication there is resistance in the airway. Let’s think of it as plumbing. You need to make air pass through, but the plumbing is too tight, and air cannot get through, so it starts to rattle. If it was water, it would gurgle. Air will vibrate and move in a zigzag fashion. As the air vibrates, the soft things in the airway will also vibrate.

So, if your spouse has nasal congestion or obstruction, then he or she (trust me, there are tons of female patients!) will snore from the nasal passageway. Again, areas where things get narrow are where the snoring is coming from. You see your spouse suffers from allergies? Maybe he had a broken nose before?

I had some patients pinch their spouse’s nose to see if they can stop snoring. Well, I think most “victims” got startled and woke up. But you get the idea of the source of snoring.

Next area is the back of the throat, the Oropharyngeal junction. About 2/3 of the way from the front of your upper teeth, the palate (roof of your mouth) becomes loose, not supported by the bony tissue. In the middle of this soft tissue, is what we call the uvula. As you sleep, your muscles relax, and the tongue falls back, making this area narrow. Again, think of plumbing getting too narrow to pass. Air vibrates and shakes the back of the throat.

Some snoring patients complain they have sore throat, or a dry mouth when they wake up. They can feel their uvula is swollen. It feels like it is going to choke them.

If you and your spouse suffer from awful snoring, please get help. You both deserve better rest.

With DreamBite, Better sleep, Better you.

Nahmjee Lee-Skarada, D.M.D.

Nahmjee Lee-Skarada, DMD, is a diplomate of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Dr. Lee-Skarada specializes exclusively in the care of patients with sleep-disordered breathing.

Nahmjee Lee-Skarada, D.M.D.