Do you constantly wake up with a sore throat? Maybe you assume that you are always “fighting a cold,” or perhaps you blame it on allergies or dry air.
In all actuality, your snoring very well could be the reason you are constantly sucking on cough drops and sipping hot tea with honey.
The Link Between Mouth Breathing and Snoring
There are a number of reasons why you might breathe through your mouth. Nasal polyps, a deviated septum, swelling of the turbinate, and sinus infection can all be to blame. Some people just naturally do it for no reason at all. Many mouth breathers are snorers because the air that flows through the mouth causes a greater amount of tissue vibration than what it would passing through the nose.
To further understand this it is helpful to take a closer look at the soft palate. This muscular extension of the roof of the mouth separates the nasal passages from the back of your mouth. It is only attached on the sides, so it simply hangs freely.
During nasal breathing it moves forward to open the airway, and during swallowing it moves backward to close the nasal passages, so liquids are forced down the esophagus.
At the back of the soft palate is a small extension called the uvula. It assists with soft palate functions. The uvula and palate are typically the structures vibrating. After heavy snoring through a night it is not uncommon for both structures to be swollen. Some individuals experience a gagging sensation when they first wake up until the swelling has decreased a bit.
The Snoring and Sore Throat Connection
There are actually two reasons why your throat is sore in the morning. First, the tissues are vibrating all night against your throat. This constant friction is very irritating to these delicate tissues. Also, because you are breathing through your mouth, the air dries your throat.
You are not swallowing to provide these mucus membranes with moisture, so the airflow dries them. Add to the fact that many homes are already dry from heating and cooling, and it is surprising that your throat is not sorer than it is!
Sore Throat Worsens Snoring
As if dealing with a sore throat because of snoring is not bad enough, that sore throat can also worsen snoring. This creates a vicious cycle that far too many people deal with. When tissues in your windpipe are irritated, they often become inflamed. Unfortunately, this inflammation worsens the obstruction causing the snoring. This is especially true in overweight individuals and others with a narrower airway.
Also, if you are one of many who actually snore because of obstructed sleep apnea, your concerns are even greater. Inflammation can get quite bad and become very dangerous. Some have difficulty swallowing because nerve damage occurs.
Mouthpieces: An Easy Fix?
A sore throat is just one of the many reasons why you should not ignore your snoring. Even if you do not share a bedroom with anyone, your snoring is still affecting your health in a variety of ways.
So, could an anti-snoring mouthpiece really be the answer?
Well, it may be hard to believe, but it really can. A mouthpiece can help prevent a sore throat because it holds your jaw or tongue in a forward position while you sleep.
By doing this, the soft tissues are not able to fall back and vibrate, which also means they do not cause friction against the throat to cause soreness or inflammation. As a bonus, the obstruction causing the snoring in the first place is now eliminated.
It is important to note that if you are a mouth breather, you need to choose a mouthpiece with an air hole in the front. This prevents your mouth from closing completely, so air can still flow through to your lungs while you sleep. If you also experience a dry throat because of the air in your home, a humidifier can help.
Which Product Should I Choose?
Every person has a unique mouth and needs, so one that is perfect for one person may not be the best option for another.
There are well over 100 products on the market, so making a decision can be quite daunting.
You will find a lot of helpful information in the comparison chart, and I have written reviews of several products.
If you would rather not spend a lot of time reading reviews, please consult my article titled “My Mouthpiece Recommendation”. I have compiled a list of three products that I believe are the best options, based on my experience.