Read This If Your Spouse Snores


My snoring keeps my spouse up at night. What can I do to help with the noise?

Snoring is when there is interference in airflow caused by the tissues of the palate (the roof of the mouth) and the throat vibrating together, causing a range of noises. You are at a higher risk if you are male, overweight, have a narrow oral cavity, drink alcohol, have nasal problems (which increases mouth breathing) and/or have a family history of snoring or sleep apnea. If you have any of these conditions and snore, it’s a good idea to get tested for obstructive sleep apnea first.

There are several things you can do to decrease or prevent snoring, including losing weight, which reduces neck thickness, and not drinking alcohol prior to sleep, which can relax tissues. Also, oral myofunctional therapy — airway and muscle exercises — can naturally allow the airway to expand. Practicing breathing through your nose open ups the nasal cavity, preventing throat inflammation that comes from mouth breathing.

There are several different dental appliances targeted to prevent snoring. These hold the mouth open and pull the jaw and tongue slightly forward, opening the airway and preventing the vibration that causes snoring. 

Your dentist can help you make the most informed treatment decision. Any treatment outside your dentist or physician’s care could lead to problems with the TMJ, so proceed with caution. 

About the author

Stacey Sparkman Hall, D.D.S.

Dr. Stacey Hall brings her unique outlook on dental care and her personable optimism to the Williamsburg Center for Dental Health. With nine years of solid dental expertise as a dentist in Williamsburg, she decided in early 2011 to branch out and open her own local practice. After completing her undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in 1998, Dr. Hall graduated from VCU’s MCV School of Dentistry in 2002, receiving her D.D.S. She is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and was awarded member fellowship to the International Congress of Oral Implantology in 2008. She leads the elite Tidewater Dawson Study Club and is a scholar with the interntaionally renowned Dawson Academy. As a Dawson ambassador, Dr. Hall also assists in the training of students in the Dawson Academy. Stacey and her husband Michael have been blessed with three beautiful girls, Lanie, Gracie and Abbie. She is a loyal Virginia Tech Football fan, and enjoys Bible study and missions work.

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