Say Ah: What’s in Your Mouth?

mouthSnoring is a common sleep disorder although many just brush it off. Some people think snoring is caused solely by eating or drinking too much before bed, sleeping on your back or being sick. While these can contribute to snoring, the fact of the matter is that there are physical components of snoring. While you sleep your whole body relaxes, right? The means more than just your mind; your muscles relax as well. When the muscles in your mouth and throat relax they can cause your tongue to fall to the back of your throat and block your airways.

This causes that snoring sound we are all too familiar with. The kind that can only be remedied with a stop snoring mouthpiece like the ZQuiet ( If the situation is intense, snoring may also be a sign of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes a person to stop breathing completely, for a few seconds, dozens of times a night. There are other physical betrayals for sleep apnea:

Enlarged uvula can lead to snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Among normal adults, 45 percent are occasional snorers and 25 percent are habitual snorers. Most commonly seen in males, snoring may be a result of an obstruction, so it should be considered a serious symptom to address with your doctor.

There are numerous causes for snoring, including poor muscle tone of the tongue and throat, excessive bulkiness of throat tissue, long soft palate or uvula, or obstructed nasal airways.

Snoring can result in a health condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is when a person stops breathing numerous times throughout the night. Being overweight or having high blood pressure can contribute to OSA, but another common cause is an enlarged uvula, the dangling piece of flesh at the back of the mouth.

The role of uvula is not fully understood, but its possible functions are assisting with speech formation and production of saliva.

Inflamed or swollen uvula is the main symptom of a health condition uvulitis, which can contribute to sleep apnea. If the uvula becomes very swollen, it may even reach the tongue, causing an obstruction. Other signs and symptoms of a swollen uvula include redness, as well as difficulty breathing or swallowing.

If your uvulitis does lead to sleep apnea, you may also suffer from high blood pressure, daytime headache, constant low energy or fatigue, and weight gain. Treating enlarged uvula and sleep apnea is important for reducing your risk of complications.

Enlarged uvula treatment methods

You should see a doctor for your enlarged uvula if you experience severe pain, difficulty breathing, uneasiness due to lack of oxygen, severe pain or difficulty swallowing, grunting and choking, pus or blood from the uvula, or if you stop breathing throughout the night.


Snoring can be a very real indicator that you or someone you love suffers from sleep apnea. The problem with this disease is that it can often go undiagnosed for those who live alone or for those who brush off their snoring issue. It is imperative if you snore, and have continued to do so even after you’ve tried to stop it, that you meet with a health care professional. You may need to undergo testing in a sleep lab to find out if you suffer from sleep apnea. Don’t wait until it’s too late!

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