Many people snore, but sometimes snoring is associated with sleep apnoea, a potentially serious sleep disorder that causes frequent pauses in breath. We can often identify sleep apnoea symptoms during dental examinations.
Sleep apnoea interrupts deep sleep and sufferers will often feel tired and irritable, and it can affect general health. The airway becomes partially or wholly blocked when the throat muscles and tongue relax during sleep. One way to help prevent snoring and to reduce any symptoms of sleep apnoea is to strengthen the muscles in your tongue with these simple exercises.
1. Position your tongue just behind your two upper front teeth and press your tongue upwards, holding it there for three minutes. Do this twice daily.
2. Make a ‘tutting’ sound by tapping your tongue behind your upper teeth. Repeat twenty times, five times daily.
3. Place your tongue on your upper palate and move it backwards as far as it will go. Repeat ten times, twice daily.
4. Use your tongue to hold a spoon against the roof of your mouth and hold it there for two minutes. Repeat twice daily.
After completing these exercises, your tongue will feel tired which is a sign you have been working the correct muscles. These exercises will hopefully improve snoring, but otherwise, you might need to see a sleep specialist for more advanced tests.