Monday, May 29, 2023

Mouth and Tongue Exercises Curb Snoring

Snoring is one of many health conditions where you will not find a specific standardized treatment, even if you search online for snoring treatments or at-home remedies for snoring. Snoring is one of the many symptoms of health conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea, also known as OSA, and chronic sleep apnea is associated with several health issues such as respiratory distress and lethargy. A new study however might be shedding the light on some treatment options that could benefit the milllions of people who struggle with snoring, and this can help save the lives of many who suffer with this condition.


A new study that was published in the online journal CHEST, has found that patients with primary snoring or mild obstructive sleep apnea, can significantly benefit from doing mouth and tongue exercises. These mouth and tongue exercises can reduce the frequency of snoring by up to 36 percent, and can cut down the power of snoring by 59 percent. Snoring occurs as a result of the soft tissues obstructing the pharynx during sleep, and the snoring is basically the vibration from the obstruction. There is not really a conclusive report on just how many people suffer from snoring, since it is largely a self-reported condition, although it ranges from 15 to 54 percent of the general population.

While snoring is actually a huge problem in society, especially if sleep apnea is the cause of the snoring, there have not been that many studies done to investigate how to treat this condition. Snoring also affects relationships because typically one person will be the one snoring while the other is trying to sleep, and resentment and anger often sets in because the other person is not getting sleep. There are a lot of treatments out there that are supposed to help with snoring, such as avoiding being flat your back and avoiding alcohol. Other known treatments include wearing a dental sleep device while you sleep, getting a palate and airway surgery, and losing weight.

Previous studies have just focused on the self-reporting questionnaires, so it is not really known which of the available treatment options really work, and it is something that also varies depending upon the cause of snoring. This new study though, focuses on more objective measures that can be seen in terms of treatment results, and one of those measures was using oropharyngeal exercises to help reduce snoring. Geraldo Lorenzi-Filho, the author of the study and MD, PhD, said that these types of exercises were shown to significantly reduce the snoring of the group used in the study.

The study has provided people with a noninvasive treatment option that can be used on large populations of those who snore regularly. Barbara Phillips, MD, FCCP, President-Designate, American College of Chest Physicians, and Medical Director, Sleep Laboratory at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine said she will be giving this exercise advise to all her snoring patients.

If you want to do some of the exercises from this study, one of them is pushing the tip of your tongue up against the roof of your mouth, and then sliding the tongue backwards. You also can suck the tongue upward against the roof of your mouth, then press the entire tongue against the roof of your mouth. Another exercise that was shown to benefit people who snore was to force the back of your tongue against the floor of your mouth, but make sure the tip of the tongue stays in contact with the bottom front teeth. You might also try to elevate the back of the roof of your mouth and uvula, which is the hanging down thing in your throat, while at the same time saying the letter “A” and this could help as well. In terms of who these exercises could benefit, the results of the study show that both genders and people of every age would benefit from this study, and it could go a long way in helping prevent repeatedly snoring.

Jeanne Rose
Jeanne Rose lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has been a freelance writer since 2010. She took Allied Health in vocational school where she earned her CNA/PCA, and worked in a hospital for 3 years. Jeanne enjoys writing about science, health, politics, business, and other topics as well.


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