What is snoring?
Snoring is the repetitive harsh noise you hear when a snorer inhales during sleep causing vibration of the soft or floppy parts at the back of the throat. Snoring is associated with a partial collapse of the airway and obstruction to air flow. Over 40% of adults snore and the noise can place great stress on relationships, affecting the individual as well as the sleep of partners, family members, and friends during travel or trips away. Loud snoring can also disrupt sleep patterns with a significant effect upon your quality of life.
As you fall asleep, the soft tissues at the back of the throat, the muscles that line the airway, and the tongue muscles all relax. As this occurs, particularly if sleeping on the back, the tongue drops back into the airway which causes it to narrow. As air passes through this narrower airway, it moves faster and causes the soft palate and uvula to vibrate against the back of the throat or the base of the tongue which creates a rattling or snoring sound.
As the air passage continues to narrow, pressure increases within the airway and snoring becomes louder. The three primary causes of narrowing of the air passage are:
Excessive bulkiness of throat tissue: Children with enlarged adenoids and tonsils often snore, as do adults with large tonsils. Overweight people and those with large necks often snore as the excess neck tissue compresses the airway. Many patients have anatomical variations in the structure of their throat tissues such as large tonsils, unusually broad tongues or long soft palates. A small lower jaw is also a risk factor for increasing the chances of airway obstruction occurring when asleep.
Increased relaxation of the soft tissues: If the throat tissues become too relaxed as a result of alcohol or taking tranquilizers, sleeping pills, sedatives, or muscle relaxants they can collapse and fall backward which may obstruct the airway.
Increased resistance in the airway. A blocked or ‘stuffy’ nose requires extra effort to pull the air through it causing a type of vacuum in the throat that pulls the tissues of the throat together. Therefore, enlarged turbinates, a deviated septum, hay-fever, colds/flu, sinusitis, and allergies can all make snoring worse. In addition, these conditions may cause the patient to ‘mouth-breathe’ that in turn can make snoring worse.
WHY IS SNORING BAD FOR YOU?
Snoring can be a symptom of a serious medical condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). Some 40% of snorers have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea with 95% being unaware they actually suffer this serious medical condition.
Snoring may, therefore, be much more than a nuisance. In the long run, chronic snorers with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea are at a higher risk of developing:
- Sleep Deprivation
- Heart Disease
- Abnormal Heart Rhythm
- Right-sided Heart Failure
Snoring and Sleep Apnoea have also been associated with diabetes, and in children may increase the risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Therefore while snoring can be harmless, it is important that ALL people who snore are tested for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, a serious medical condition.
Dental Devices have been scientifically proven to be the most comfortable and effective treatment for snoring (and mild to moderate sleep apnoea). These devices work by gently holding the lower jaw forward thereby preventing the back of the throat and the base of the tongue from collapsing back into the airway during sleep. This enables the clear flow of air into the lungs.
There are many different devices available to dentists. They are often referred to as Mandibular Advancement Splints. For these devices to be effective and comfortable they must be individually selected and custom made for each and every patient. Scientifically proven, comfortable and long-lasting. At The Snoring Clinic, we use only those devices which have been scientifically proven to be the most effective and the most comfortable.
An essential feature of these devices is that they are adjustable by the dentist and the patient. This ensures that the lower jaw can be slowly moved forward by the patient in the comfort of their home until the sounds of snoring are eliminated.
Benefits of Dental Appliance Therapy:
- Both Snoring and sleep apnoea are stopped with the one dental device
- Treatment is quick. It takes only 2 visits to make a fully customized dental device for take-home use.
- The device is comfortable, portable and long lasting
- Quiet nights of deep refreshing sleep.
- Improves relationships.
- No more embarrassing snoring sounds while traveling or camping.
- A zest for life on waking which continues all day.
- Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.
An added benefit. Do you clench or grind your teeth during sleep?
Teeth clenching and grinding is a major dental problem today affecting over 50% of the population with most individuals being unaware that it is occurring. Dental sleep devices have the added advantage of protecting the teeth during sleep.
Price of Dental Devices
There is a large range of dental sleep devices available today. At The Snoring Clinic we custom make only those devices which are:
Scientifically proven, comfortable and based upon the patient's individual requirements. Cost effective and long-lasting.