Snoring Treatments

 

It will come as no surprise to people who have a snoring partner that some snorers have been recorded as loud as 90 decibels, equal to a vacuum cleaner three metres away. Loud or frequent snoring is difficult to deal with and can become a major problem in people’s lives.

Whether it’s you or your partner that snores, one of the most recognised treatments for snoring is the use of a dental appliance. The results we see are amazing and often are not just altering one person’s life, but saving relationships. You shouldn’t view snoring as an inconvenience that should be tolerated. By affecting sleep, it impacts on quality of life; resulting in daytime sleepiness which impairs concentration, learning ability and memory.

Snoring is a result of partial blocking of the upper airway. When you fall asleep your muscles relax, including those that control the tongue and throat. The soft tissue (or flesh) at the back of your throat can sag, narrowing the airway. Incoming air makes the tissues at the rear roof of the mouth and the throat vibrate, thus causing snoring sounds.

Loud snoring may be a sign of a more serious problem; Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. This is where the airway becomes completely blocked and breathing stops altogether. The brain detects the lack of oxygen and prompts you to draw a breath. If you have been heard to gasp for breath during the night or are excessively sleepy during the day, you should mention this to your dental practitioner and they will in turn refer you to the recommended healthcare specialists for assessment.

Sleep Apnoea is a medical condition and needs immediate treatment. Such treatment options include:

  • Lifestyle changes – lose weight, stop smoking, reduce alcohol intake
  • Surgery – address nasal obstruction
  • CPAP – Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, which is a mask connected to a generator which pumps air into you
  • Oral appliance – more discreet, easily tolerated and portable
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