Silent Sleep Appliances
Over one third of adults snore. An estimated 22 million Americans have undiagnosed obstructive moderate to severe sleep apnea. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has endorsed oral appliance therapy as the first-line therapy for patients who have been diagnosed with mild-to-moderate obstructive sleep apnea, or severe obstructive sleep apnea that cannot tolerate their prescribed CPAP.
Snoring occurs when there is a partial obstruction to the free flow of air through the mouth and nose. The unpleasant and often annoying sound associated with snoring occurs in a sleeping individual when loose structures in the throat, like the uvula (the skin tissue that hangs down in the back of the throat) and soft palate, vibrate as air passes over them during breathing. Efforts to force air through the narrowed passageway contribute to the sound of snoring. Snoring can get worse when the muscles in the back of the throat are too relaxed either from drugs that induce sleep or alcohol consumption. A large uvula and soft palate, nasal congestion, a deviated septum or other obstructions in the nasal and pharyngeal airways can also cause snoring. Other anatomical indications are proportionately smaller jaw and/or overbite, and/or a thick neck. In children, large tonsils and adenoids can be the cause of snoring. Pregnant women snore because of a narrowing of the airway and increased weight.
7 Easy Snoring Remedies:
- Lose weight
- Sleep on your side, or with your head elevated
- Avoid alcohol 4-5hrs before bedtime
- Get more sleep – less “hard” sleeping
- Open nasal passages – air moves slower
- Change your pillows – reduce allergens
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Can Snoring Be Serious?
Primary snoring (snoring not caused by apnea) itself is not life threatening and does not cause chronic fatigue in the sleeper. Snoring, however, can be serious both socially and medically.
Socially, it can cause fatigue and extreme annoyance in other household members, as well as sleepless nights for a bed partner. This may lead to isolation of a bed partner and can even disrupt a marriage. It is estimated that as many as 40 percent of adults snore, and the majority of snorers are men over forty.
Medically, snoring can be the precursor of obstructive sleep apnea which has been linked to heart failure, high blood pressure and stroke. In its own right, snoring has also been linked to Type II Diabetes. Sleep apnea usually interrupts loud snoring with a period of silence in which no air passes into the lungs. Eventually, the lack of oxygen and the increase in carbon dioxide will awaken you, forcing the airway to open with a loud gasp. In children, snoring may increase the risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
What Can I Do To Get Better Sleep?
You may not be aware of your snoring but your bed partner is! Seeking professional advice can help you both because snoring not only causes disruption in sleep, but it can also be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea.
If your child snores, speak to your pediatrician about the problem. Nose and throat problems as well as obesity may be the cause. Treating these conditions could help your child sleep better at night and help your child’s mental and physical development to stay on track.
Snoring Treatment Options
If losing weight and changing sleep position don’t help, other suggested remedies include:
- Oral Appliance Therapy – Dental appliances are specially constructed appliances much like a sports guard or some orthodontic appliances that will either hold the tongue forward or advance the lower jaw forward to open the airway in the back of your throat.
- CPAP – this is positive air pressure applied through a pressurized mask over the nose.
- Surgery to remove excess tissue in the back of the throat.
- Laser surgery to remove some excess tissue from the uvula and soft palate.
- Somnoplasty – a radio frequency signal used to reduce volume of tissues in the soft palate or tongue.
- Strips implanted in the soft palate to stiffen it.
American Sleep Apnea Association
Are you having trouble sleeping, find yourself snoring or want to find out if snoring treatment can help you? Come visit Parsi General & Children Dentistry in San Antonio and we’ll gladly answer any questions you might have! Parsi General & Children Dentistry – Proudly offering dental veneers, dental implants, teeth whitening, Invisalign, and comprehensive family dentistry to the San Antonio area since 1998.