Snoring is an issue that should not be taken lightly. Apart from the fact that a good night sleep is essential to functioning well during day-time, it is the third biggest cause of marriage breakdown after infidelity and financial problems.
So, what actually happens when you snore?
The noise of snoring is caused by the vibration of the soft tissues in the upper airway. During sleep the muscles of the upper airway relax, resulting in the formation of bottlenecks or even complete obstruction of the airways. The body reacts by increasing the velocity of the air which in turn causes vibration of the soft tissues which generates the noise of snoring. Research has shown that approximately 40% of the adult population snore. As a person gets older the chances of snoring increases. (i.e. in men aged 60 this increases to 60%.) The chances of snoring are also increased if a person is overweight or drinks alcohol. Obstructive Sleep Apnoea This is a medical condition. People suffering from it are heard to gasp for breath while they are asleep. Additional symptoms are daytime drowsiness or the feeling of not having a full nights sleep. Where Sleep Apnoea is suspected an anti-snoring device may still be prescribed but it is essential that you consult your medical practitioner and if he confirms that Sleep Apnoea is suspected, that you are referred to the sleep clinic of a hospital for further investigation. Not everyone who snores suffers from Sleep Apnoea – but nearly everyone who suffers from Sleep Apnoea will snore. What help is available? In the surgery we can make you an oral appliance which is worn at night to prevent snoring. This consists of two thin plastic formings which fit over the upper and lower teeth. They are joined together by two connectors that gently hold the lower jaw in a forward position.
You need to have most your own teeth, if you have full dentures we will not be able to help you with this method as the appliance has to be inserted over you natural dentition. Further, there are some people who cannot manage to get used to the more forward position of the lower jaw. The system we use has the ability to alter the amount of forward displacement to suit you. Unfortunately it is not possible to guarantee that the appliance will work on everyone. Statistics demonstrate that in 62% of people that snore it will totally eliminate the noise of snoring. In the remaining cases the noise of snoring may be reduced or it will not work at all. The appliance does require regular maintenance but the intervals between maintenance periods are difficult to predict because they depend on the individuals case. If you grind your teeth at night the life of your appliance will be reduced.