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Can an overbite cause snoring?

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A portrait of a man snoring in his sleep while his wife is struggling to get sleep because of noise.

Snoring can affect both men and women and can often lead to sleep disruption, if you share the bed. There are many causes of snoring, some of which can be fixed. One of the causes of snoring is the anatomy of your mouth, such as, if you have an overbite. This does not mean that because you have an overbite that you will snore, just that you will be more likely to have a snoring condition. 

There are roughly about 60% of people that suffer from snoring all over the world. Many of those that suffer are men at about 40%, while there are only about 20% of women that suffer from snoring. Many times, depending on what is the main cause of snoring, it can be a fairly harmless and sometimes embarrassing trait. 

There are many types of snoring and many causes. The solution to snoring is not simple and the same for everyone. In order to better understand how your snoring can be treated when you have an overbite, it is best to understand what snoring does to you and if it could be the cause of something more. If you have some of the following symptoms, there may be more to your snoring than you think:

  • Sore throat when you wake up 
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Morning headaches
  • Restless sleep 
  • Gasping or choking while you sleep 
  • Chest pain at night

When you suffer from snoring, it could lead to a loss of sleep for your partner as well as for yourself. Along with this, there could be other health concerns that arise which is why it is important to understand what the cause of your snoring is. 

 What are some of the common causes of snoring?

There are 5 types of snoring, all of which can be treated. In order to determine what area of the body is potential causing you or your partner to snore, let us examine at what the 5 common types of snoring are so that you can better understand what could be causing the snoring:

  • Nose based snoring – you will be able to hear a loud whistling while the person is asleep. As well, you will be able to hear some nasal congestion while the person is awake too. 
  • Mouth based snoring – usually people will be inhaling through their mouth rather than their nose. This could also indicate that there is something in the nasal passage causing the snoring. 
  • Tongue based snoring – the tongue becomes too relaxed and can block the air passage. 
  • Throat based snoring – this is the most dangerous type of snoring. There can be greater causes for this kind of snoring in which you should speak to your doctor about. 
  • Multifactorial snoring- this can be many factors which are contributing to you snoring all at once. This will require further insight, usually through your doctor at a sleep clinic.

 Snoring though can be caused by a number of factors, some of which include:

  • The structure of your mouth 
  • Allergies or a cold 
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Being overweight 
  • Nasal issues 
  • Excessive weight around your neck

By better understanding these other factors and changing some of your daily habits, you will be able to tell if they are contributing to your snoring. If you are still having issues with snoring after eliminating or cutting down on some of these potential causes, there may be other causes which your doctor will be able to assess. 

A photo of a mouthguard in a container and a box that is being used to treat snoring.

How can my snoring be treated if I have an overbite? 

If you are among the many that suffer from snoring, it is important to understand what is the cause in order to find the best treatment. Many times, our own anatomy can be a cause of snoring. Having an overbite can cause you to snore because of what happens to the body when we are resting and falling asleep. 

The body relaxes and so do the muscles and should there be something abnormal to obstruct our airway. Your overbite will push your tongue further back into your airway which can cause a blockage. If an overbite is the cause for your snoring, there is a solution that your dentist is able to give you. 

A mouth guard is often used to treat snoring with an overbite. In order to have one that best works for you, your dentist will be able to custom make one that will fit your mouth. Depending on the severity of your overbite will be a factor in what your mouth guard will look like. 

Mouthguards will help to change the position of the jaw. It will shift your jaw forward and in some cases shift your tongue as well. 

How long will it take for me to see results?

Most people will see results right away when using an oral appliance for treating their snoring. There will be some common, minor side effects that you might encounter, especially if you have not used an oral appliance before. These side effects can take some getting used to and can include:

  • Drooling
  • Dry mouth
  • Irritated gums
  • Headache
  • Discomfort in your jaw 
  • Tooth pain

Over time, these symptoms should go away. If they do not, this is something that you should bring up to your dentist. 

If snoring is affecting your life, book an appointment to see if an oral appliance is right for you. Your snoring could be caused by an overbite, which the dentist here at Symmetry Dental & Sleep Apnea Clinic can help you with. Assessing your snoring is the first step to a better night’s sleep and the dentists at Symmetry Dental & Sleep Apnea Clinic are here to help.

Dr. Saleema Adatia

Written by Dr. Saleema Adatia

Dr Adatia did her dental training at Tufts University in Boston MA and graduated in 2006.  Returning to her hometown of Calgary, Dr. Adatia worked as an associate for many years before starting Symmetry Dental.  

Dr. Adatia has focused her clinical practice to the dental management of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. She has completed extensive training in dental sleep therapy, including a residency at her alma mater, Tufts University, and multiple courses focused on evidence-based education and the medical aspects of sleep related breathing disorders.

Dr. Adatia is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, which focuses on training dentists on how to provide oral appliance therapy for people who suffer from sleep apnea.  She has also been involved in clinical trials investigating the effectiveness of novel technologies for the treatment of OSA.

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