Anti Snoring

What is snoring?

Snoring is the sound produced when soft nasal tissue vibrates in the upper nasal passages when it becomes obstructed. These nasal airways may become obstructed during sleep as the muscles relax during breathing. As air is inhaled and exhaled during sleep, the speed of air movement through the airways may cause the snoring vibration sound, when trying to pass through the nasal obstruction.

Who is likely to snore?

Studies reveal that as many as 40% of adults snore and ageing increases the likelihood of snoring. For example, men over the age of 60 have a 60% chance of snoring. Other factors that contribute to the onset of snoring are obesity and alcohol consumption. Underlying health conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnoea, may also be a cause.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?

It is a medical term used to describe a sleep disorder where breathing is restricted or obstructed. During sleep, individuals may gasp for breath and experience a reduction in sleep quality. As a result, individuals affected by obstructive sleep apnoea may feel tired or drowsy during the day.

Those suffering with obstructive sleep apnoea often snore, yet snoring may not mean that an individual has the aforementioned condition. Medical practitioners may prescribe an anti-snoring device as treatment or refer an individual suspected of having obstructive sleep apnoea to hospital or for in-clinic tests.

What help is available?

An anti-snoring device may be prescribed by a doctor or dentist. Dentists may take impressions or images to custom-design a plastic oral device that fits over the teeth of the upper and lower dental arch. When worn during sleep, the lower jaw is gently moved forward during breathing function. The individual is forced to inhale and exhale correctly when wearing the device to prevent snoring.

Can anyone use this appliance?

A dentist evaluates a person's condition to determine suitability of an anti-snoring oral device. Usually such a device fits over natural, existing teeth. In the absence of teeth, an oral anti-snoring device may not be appropriate.

What happens next?

To determine suitability for someone who snores, a dentist will involve the individual and where possible their partner in completion of a questionnaire regarding snoring. The following steps are then taken:

  • If a person is a good candidate for treatment with an anti-snoring device, dental impressions are made of the upper and lower dental arch.
  • The oral dimensions are then used in custom-making the anti-snoring appliance.
  • Within two weeks, the dentist arranges to fit the device and provides guidance on wear.
  • The dentist monitors the effectiveness of the device for eliminating snoring, and makes adjustments if necessary.
  • The anti-snoring device prevents snoring entirely in about 62% of cases.

If the device has not been a success then alternative anti-snoring treatments may be recommended.

Does the appliance require maintenance?

The dentist provides guidance on wear and care of the anti-snoring appliance. Those undergoing treatment will be invited for regular appointments to check their progress and condition of the device. Dentist-provided maintenance may be required periodically, and especially if an individual grinds their teeth during sleep.

Does the appliance come with a warranty?

The dentist will advise about the anti-snoring device warranty. Some have a six month warranty for service and repair set from the manufacturing date.

 

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