What is snoring?
Snoring is the noise caused by the partial closure of the airway due to the relaxation of the soft tissue in the upper throat. This happens when the tongue drops backward whilst sleeping.
Certain factors increase the chances of snoring; physiology, gender, age, weight, and lifestyle. Factors that lead to increased soft tissue around the neck contribute, as do factors that cause additional relaxation of muscles, such as drinking alcohol or the use of sleeping tablets.
What is obstructive sleep (OSA)?
In extreme cases, partial closure of the airways can result in a drop of oxygen reaching the lungs. Equally, individuals can stop breathing altogether, with the sleeper starting to breathe again with a gasp, choke or snort.
This is indicative of OSA, where our body and brain is starved of oxygen for a short period of time. Snorers are more prone to developing more serious OSA.
The effects of snoring & OSA
Snoring and Sleep Apnoea can have an immense impact on the sufferer, their partner, and the family:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Motivational issues
- Higher stress levels
- Lack of energy during the day
- Tiredness & Lack of concentration whilst driving
- Poor effectiveness at work or education centres.
OSA is also known to contribute to more serious health issues:
- Increased blood pressure/hypertension
- Increased risk of diabetes
- heightened chance of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.
- It can be a Cause of Death whilst sleeping
- Increased risk of mental health concerns
- Poor relationship with partner & embarrassment.
Recommended Treatment Options
The safest and least invasive treatment will be to:
- Reduce your weight
- Avoid alcohol in the late evenings
- Wear a dental mouth guard that keeps your airway open. This is the preferred treatment.
- Have oxygen masks whilst sleeping; to deliver enough oxygen to the brain to counteract the medical problems that can be induced. This is the preferred method for the most severe cases.
Visit a Trained Dentist in diagnosing OSA and certified in Mandibular Advancement treatments and/ or Visit your GP immediately-
The GP can discuss treatments on the NHS. If you feel that you actually have OSA, then ask for a sleep centre referral. Most of our local ENT departments have sleep clinics. Avoid surgical procedures as studies show that they are not any more effective than non-surgical approaches.
Certified Dentists have been trained to undertake diagnosis, and treatment, and provide a follow-up care service to snorers and those with OSA.
If your dentist believes you are suffering from Simple Snoring which may develop or is contributing to OSA, then they will recommend a mouth appliance that is to be worn at night time. It works by advancing your lower jaw into a comfortable and measured position to allow the airway to remain patent whilst sleeping.
This will decrease the effects of snoring and the noise will be considerably reduced too. You will get a better night’s sleep – and feel more alert / and awake during the daytime. More productive at work and have a longer concentration span.
It will be safer to drive without tiredness setting in and not to mention better sleep for you and your partner!
The most clinically proven treatment of snoring and mild to moderate sleep Apnoea is the Sleepwell and Somnowell devices. The Somnowell is a more robust and comfortable device but is more costly.