Snoring is caused by the vibration of soft tissues from the pharyngeal area to the passage of air. A recessed position of the tongue helps to narrow the diameter of these airways, which induces snoring.
Chronic snoring (or snoring) is due to a narrowing of the pharynx diameter by the tongue. This results in an acceleration of the inhaled air. When the membranes are not rigid enough (velum, pharynx, tongue) they start to vibrate as the air passes through them, it is snoring. It is the same phenomenon that occurs when a balloon whistles because its neck is stretched while it deflates.
The tongue that malfunctions and lacks muscle tone takes a position too far back in the mouth during sleep. This is what will cause snoring.
Overweight and obesity, lying on your back, aging tissues, alcohol or certain medications… are factors that promote the development or aggravation of snoring.
In children, snoring is of course related to lingual dysfunctions, both because the tongue does not have a correct position, but often because it has not widened the palate which has remained narrow and deep.
Chronic snoring is not insignificant, its harmful consequences are multiple.
On the pathological level, snoring does have an impact on the snorer’s sleep quality, and it is generally the precursor sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSA). The intensity of the sound vibrations will thicken the blood vessels and in particular the carotid artery that feeds the brain and thus promotes strokes. Studies have even shown the influence of snoring on lifetime.
On the social level, the consequences go beyond couple problems. They also extend to the snorer’s sense of embarrassment towards others, whether family, friends on weekends or holidays, colleagues when travelling, neighbours in hotels or on planes.
Finally, in a professional environment, the poor quality of sleep associated with snoring has a direct impact on the cognitive abilities and intellectual productivity of the snorer.
In children, snoring is most often associated with oral breathing and is also associated with repeated infections and poor sleep quality. Its consequences are particularly harmful to development.
Chronic snoring affects about 15% of children, with a peak around the age of 7. Chronic snoring in adults is often a direct extension of disorders already established in childhood. It affects about 25% of men and 15% of women daily. This gap closes with menopause. Several studies even show that after 40 years, nearly 20% of the chronic snorer population emits sounds above 90 decibels (the noise of a train).
An effective snoring treatment should clear the nasal passages to allow air to pass through the nose. In children, this can be done by widening the palate, which has not been widened by the tongue that has dysfunction. This enlargement can be achieved through reeducation. It can also be obtained by orthodontic and sometimes surgical treatment. However, if the tongue has not adopted its mature functions, it will not maintain this expansion. The obstruction and snoring will then recur. In adults, the effects of surgical treatments on snoring tend to fade after a few months, probably due to the persistence of lingual dysfunction and its effects.
Studies have shown the beneficial effects of tongue exercises on snoring. This approach requires a strong motivation to complete the treatment and achieve significant and sustainable benefits.
Lingual reeducation can treat snoring.
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