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How Your Lower Jaw Position During Sleep Determines Your Sleep Quality

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

… And Also The Sleep Quality of Your Bed Partner.


poor sleep quality of your bed partner
How snoring affects the sleep quality of your bed partner Source: Images by jcomp, katemangostar, and tonodiaz on Freepik

Question 1: Look at the photos above. What similarities do you see in the bed partners who are sleeping?

Answer: They have their mouths open, their lower jaw dropped down, and they are snoring while sleeping on their backs. Their noses could be blocked, causing them to breathe through their mouths, which could make their faces look somewhat uneasy.

Question 2: Now how about the photos below of the persons sleeping - what similarities do you see in them?

human good quality of sleep
Good sleep quality Sources: Images by gpointstudio and jcomp on Freepik

The 2 sets of photos above illustrate the surprising connection between your sleep quality with...

  1. your lower jaw position during sleep;

  2. whether your mouth is open or closed during sleep; and

  3. whether you are breathing through your mouth during sleep.

Our Lower Jaw Position and Tongue Can Block Our Airway During Sleep

During sleep, our body relaxes and our lower jaw becomes slack, causing our tongue to fall back into our throats. This narrow airway behind the tongue reduces breathing and increases airflow turbulence, resulting in the vibration of the soft palate and the characteristic snoring sound.

If you snore, it means that your airway behind the tongue is narrower than it should be, which can affect breathing and sleep. This may explain why the faces of the snorers in the above photos appear uneasy.

For Starters, Here Are Two Simple Things You Can Do To Breathe Better During Sleep:

  1. Sleep on your sides: When you sleep on your back, your tongue can fall back into your throat and block your airway. Sleeping on your sides can help keep your airway wider. One way to stay on your side during sleep is to wear a small knapsack on your back with some clothes inside.

  2. Keep your mouth closed: When you sleep with your mouth open, your tongue moves further back, making your airway narrower and your snoring louder. Keeping your mouth closed can help make your airway wider and help you breathe better. You can use Micropore Surgical Tape to tape your lips together, but only if you can breathe through your nose.

If you still snore or have trouble sleeping well even after trying the tips above, or if you can’t do those tips;

You can see our dentist, Dr Larry Au-Yong at Sim & Hooi Dental Clinic, who is trained in dental sleep medicine, to assess your sleep quality and identify what's causing your snoring. He can also help determine if a custom dental sleep device would be a good option for your.

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