Obtaining a sufficient amount of sleep each night is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Not getting enough rest can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
Sleep apnea can cause you to wake up frequently throughout the night, making you feel tired all day. A couple of the common symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring and inconsistent breathing while your sleeping. With many treatment options available, mouth and throat exercises can also help relieve symptoms or can even prevent sleep apnea altogether.
How Oral Exercises Reduce Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Sleep apnea occurs when air is restricted from flowing into a patient’s airway. Two reasons this can occur are because your throat muscles collapse, or your tongue falls to the back of your throat while you’re sleeping.
Strengthening your throat and mouth muscles can prevent these actions from happening, which in turn can reduce your sleep apnea symptoms. It’s recommended that you practice these oral exercises 30 minutes a day to see the best results.
The purpose of tongue exercises is to reduce the risk of it falling back in your throat and blocking your airway. Try these exercises if you experience this is the reason for your sleep apnea:
- Push the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth and slide your tongue backward
- Suck your tongue upwards
- Try to touch your tongue to your nose and hold it there for 10 seconds
When throat muscles are strong, it reduces the risk of your throat closing up and blocking the airflow. These exercises are a great way to help strengthen your throat:
- Gargle with water for five minutes
- Hold your tongue between your teeth and swallow
- Open your mouth and say “ah” for 20 seconds
Singing is a great way to strengthen your throat muscles as well. Elongating each vowel you sing is a good exercise to practice. Focusing on how you’re breathing while you sing can also help during the sleep apnea treatment process.
Playing Wind Instruments
When playing wind instruments, you’re engaging your mouth and throat. Playing instruments such as the trumpet, clarinet, and oboe is another good exercise to practice because you’re learning how to gain control of these muscles.
Contact Birth & Fletcher Orthodontics in Fort Worth
If you’re suffering from sleep apnea and want to find easy at-home relief for your symptoms, then contact us today.
Dr. Birth is an experienced dentist who is part of multiple professional associations and can recommend an effective treatment, like an oral appliance, in addition to these exercises.