Treatments to stop snoring
Why do we snore?
Snoring is a condition that affects about 30% of us, rising to 60% as age increases. During sleep our throats narrow as the muscles relax. Snoring is the noise made when the back of the tongue and throat then contact. The narrower the space, the louder the snore.
What is sleep apnoea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is defined as the cessation of airflow during sleep, preventing air from entering the lungs caused by obstruction. This can last for more than 10 seconds each time, and occur more than 10 times every hour. When you experience an episode of apnoea during sleep, your brain will automatically wake you up, usually with a loud snore or snort, in order to breathe again.
Why is snoring and sleep apnoea a problem?
Simple snoring has significant effects on quality of life for the snorer and their partner. It is socially embarrassing and can lead to relationship breakdown. Sleep apnoea is linked to acid reflux and increased risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, diabetes and excessive daytime sleepiness, leading to accidents at work and whilst driving.
What can we as dentists offer?
All patients should be properly assessed to determine whether they are simple snorers or may have apnoea. In some special cases specialist records are taken- eg. x-rays. You may be referred to a medical physician for a pre-treatment assessment and sleep study. All simple snorers and mild to moderate sleep apnoea can be successfully treated in dental practices. We will offer advice on lifestyle changes which can be of great benefit. At a subsequent visit, the appliance you and your dentist have chosen will be fitted; instructions on use and care will be supplied.
If you would like more information please contact one of our care team who will be happy to help.