The soft palate is located at the back of the mouth and is made of soft tissue. It separates the back of the throat from the nose. The soft palate is part of the upper respiratory tract, and it plays an important part in speech and swallowing. A narrow or enlarged soft palate is typically caused by swollen tonsils that take up space in the oral cavity. When the soft palate is narrowed, it can contribute to snoring. Sleep apnea can also be caused by a constricted airway, which can happen when the soft palate is too tight.
How Can This Condition Be Treated?
To correct a constricted soft palate, we can perform a procedure called palatal vault expansion. During this procedure, we expand the tissue of the soft palate, creating more room for the tongue and preventing it from blocking the airway and causing snoring. This can prevent sleep apnea from occurring because it prevents obstruction of the air passage. This procedure is often performed in conjunction with another treatment to align the jaws and improve the position of the teeth.
Some patients also have issues with their soft palate moving when they sleep. This is called the paradoxical movement of the soft palate, and it can be an annoying problem. Fortunately, we can treat this with oral appliance therapy. An oral appliance is a custom-made mouthpiece that prevents the soft palate from moving while a patient sleeps.
Why is a Soft Palate Treatment Necessary?
A soft palate is a soft tissue found at the back of the mouth, just above the throat. It serves two purposes; it prevents food and liquid from entering the airways, and it helps us speak properly. It grows throughout childhood and adolescence but typically doesn’t completely stop growing by the time a person reaches adulthood. When the tissue is larger or thicker than normal, it can cause snoring problems as the tongue and soft palate collapse onto each other while someone is sleeping. This narrows the airway and causes vibrations to occur in the nose and throat. The vibration of these tissues is what causes the sound of snoring.
To learn more about our services for soft palate treatment for snoring, call us at (971) 339-0816 or visit the Sleep Health Partners office at 9370 SW Greenburg Rd, Suite 422 Rd Suite 422, Portland 97223.