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July 31, 2021


 When we sleep, if the air that moves through the nose and mouth has a clear passage, we have a silent night. But when the airways are blocked, we snore. The question is, when is snoring just annoying but harmless and when is it a sign of a potentially serious problem?

Rhythmic or Crescendo Snoring?

“ When the volume level is light, the rhythmic snore stays steady and tends to be harmless. But when the volume gets louder and erratic and suddenly you don’t hear anything for a while, that means the airway has closed. Then a gasp or snort triggers breathing again, which is Crescendo Snoring and can signal a problem, such as sleep apnea.” says Erich Voigt, MD, ENT doctor and Sleep Specialist at New York University

Sleep apnea, which is pauses in breathing, can be a serious health issue that needs to get checked. Your doctor/dentist may refer you to a sleep specialist for a sleep test.

If the test shows you just snore lightly and rhythmically, then keeping your mouth closed during sleep should solve the problem.

Often, people with sleep apnea don't wake to consciousness, so they don't know they have a problem. If you sleep with someone who snores, you're in a good position as a witness to help flag the issue.

Understanding Snoring:

  • Snoring is vibration of tissue inside the airway and the vertical folds of tissue that surround the tonsils. The most obvious tissue that vibrates when somebody is snoring is the uvula that hangs down at the back of the throat.
  • During sleep, throat muscles relax. Sometimes the tongue falls back in the mouth and partially blocks the airway.
  • If you breathe through the mouth when sleeping the base of your tongue will fall back towards your throat and block your airway. This is the root cause of snoring.
  • The greater the obstruction in the airway, the louder snoring gets. When snoring becomes severe, the airway collapses, obstructing the airflow.
  • When it gets blocked people wake up just enough to start breathing again. That’s Sleep Apnea and if severe it’s probably Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

 How do I keep my mouth closed while asleep?

 sleepQ+ a gentle reversible lip-bonding gel will help to control disruptive mouth breathing and improve your sleep quality.

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