Snoring is a breathing disorder, which results from a narrowing of the airway during sleep.
When you fall asleep all your muscles relax, including those that control your tongue and throat.
The soft tissue at the back of your throat can sag, narrowing the airway. Incoming air makes the soft tissues at the back of your palate and the suspended tissue at the back of your throat (uvula) vibrate. This vibration is the sound we know as ‘snoring’.
Generally, the more narrow your airway the louder the snoring. Snoring is often no greater a problem than the noise itself. However, loud snoring may be a sign of a more serious problem – Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.
Obstructive snoring Sleep Apnoea is when the airway becomes completely blocked and breathing stops. Your brain recognises this non-breathing and signals the muscles causing a reflex action, you gasp, wake up, resume breathing and go back to sleep almost immediately and often with no recollection of ever waking. In fact, if the sufferer lives alone or sleeps separately they may not be aware of their condition, even after many years.
The most important step in treating Obstructive snoring Sleep Apnoea is assessment by a sleep physician.
An effective and comfortable means of managing snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is with a unique mouth splint (Somnomed Appliance) which moves your lower jaw slightly forward, effectively enlarging the airway opening and helping to keep it open.
For more information on snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and how a SomnoMed appliance can help you have a peaceful night’s sleep, ask your Sensational Smiles Dentist at your next appointment.