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Snoring Specialist

Katharine Christian, DMD -  - Dental Sleep Medicine

Snoring & Sleep Apnea Center

Katharine Christian, DMD

Dental Sleep Medicine located in Belltown, Seattle, WA

Snoring is a common and often embarrassing problem that affects nearly half of all adults. Chronic snoring can also be a sign of a serious underlying health problem such as sleep apnea. Katharine Christian, DMD, at Snoring & Sleep Apnea Center in Seattle, Washington, has extensive experience treating snoring with safe and highly effective options such as noninvasive laser treatment. To learn more about your treatment options for snoring, schedule an appointment, or reach out and call the office during business hours.

Snoring Q & A

What is snoring?

Snoring occurs when the air you breathe in through your nose and/or mouth encounters tissues in your airway. The airflow makes the tissues vibrate, which produces the noise known as snoring.

The soft tissues involved in snoring include your tongue, uvula, and soft palate in the back of your mouth. The tissues surrounding the opening of your airway can also cause snoring.

What causes snoring?

Many factors contribute to snoring. Some of the most common include:

Oral problems

Some people have a naturally small airway, a long uvula, or a low soft palate.

Nasal problems

Any problem that causes nasal congestion can lead to snoring. Two of the most common are enlarged turbinates and nasal polyps.

Colds and allergies

In addition to nasal congestion, colds and allergies can cause swelling in your throat.

Alcohol consumption

Alcohol relaxes your throat muscles, so drinking alcohol close to bedtime causes snoring and worsens existing snoring.

Being overweight

When you’re overweight, you may have excess fat in the tissues surrounding your throat. This fat narrows the airway and increases the risk of the tissues collapsing and blocking airflow.

Does snoring cause health problems?

Snoring alone doesn’t mean you need to worry about health problems. But loud snoring is the top symptom of obstructive sleep apnea.

When you have sleep apnea, you temporarily stop breathing when your airway becomes completely blocked. You can stop breathing up to 30 times every hour while you sleep. 

Untreated sleep apnea can lead to serious health complications, such as high blood pressure and heart arrhythmias.

How is snoring diagnosed?

A physical exam can reveal any problems in your nose, mouth, or throat. In some cases, you may need additional diagnostic imaging or a sleep study. During a home sleep study, you wear sensors that record your breathing rate and oxygen levels.

How is snoring treated with laser snoring treatment?

Your treatment is based on the cause of your snoring. Your treatment plan may include lifestyle changes, upper airway surgery, oral appliance therapy, or noninvasive laser treatment.

Snoring & Sleep Apnea Center specializes in laser snoring treatment using the NightLase® device by Fotona. This gentle laser tightens and thickens the treated soft tissues without causing any harm.

Once the tissues are treated, your airway opening is larger, and the tissues don’t fall into the airway. As a result, your snoring significantly diminishes or stops. 

After three treatment sessions with NightLase, your results last up to two years. Then you can repeat the treatment if desired to maintain your results.

What should I expect during laser snoring treatment?

The mild NightLase treatment doesn’t require anesthesia. You may feel a warm sensation; otherwise, you won’t have any discomfort during your treatment.

Laser snoring treatment seldom causes side effects, and you have little-to-no post-op pain. Some patients have a minor sore throat that subsides in a few days.

When you schedule NightLase to treat your snoring, you can walk in, have your treatment, then leave and go straight back to work or return to your normal routine.

One session takes only about 20 minutes, and your total laser snoring treatment is done in three sessions spaced over six weeks. Your results can last 1-2 years. 

If you want to stop your snoring, call Snoring & Sleep Apnea Center or book an appointment online today.