Snoring is an extremely common issue and one that can wreak havoc for patients. This also includes their partners who have to endure sleepless nights as they are forced to listen to the loud noises all night.
The snoring sound is produced as air passes down a narrow respiratory tube. Patient who are overweight are more likely to snore as the weight causes the throat to narrow further. As the air passes, it vibrates causing air turbulence from the nose down to the vocal chords. This produces the classic snore.
In the majority of cases, the tremors only happen during sleep, but in more severe instances, this can occur constantly. The reason for this is while the snoring that takes place during slumber is due to reduced muscle tone, so a loss of this usually means there is not enough to stop the airway tissue from vibrating.
People who make these sounds during sleep may suffer from a number of problems, including:
Snoring can mask other symptoms such as Sleep Apnoea which is a very serious condition that causes you to stop breathing at night. A specialist referral will be made if the dentist thinks you may suffer from this.
Individuals who snore in any position, or are disrupting the sleep of other people, should seek medical assistance as soon as they can to ensure they are not affected by sleep apnoea.
The first line of treatment provided that sleep apnoea has been excluded is to loose weight. This means less pressure on the air passage so less sound.
Nasal strips can help increase the air passage via the nose but will not stop sounds deeper down
Mandibular repositioning splints are two plastic gum shields that pull the lower jaw forward to help increase the flow of air. This also stops the base of the tongue vibrating and can help reduce or eliminate the snore.
In severe cases surgery may also me needed and is best carried out by a hospital specialist.
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