What is snoring?
Snoring is a condition that can be a terrible problem in your life. It can cause issues within relationships as well as daytime tiredness for the snorer and their partner. Snoring can disrupt and affect the sufferer’s or partner’s lifestyle and ability to perform at work and socially.
Many snorers feel they have no option but to suffer, with no available treatments. This is not the case. Dr Shilan Shah at High Oaks Dental St Albans, has undergone further training to understand the causes, obstacles and seriousness of snoring and options to help treat or improve the condition which can have instant effects on the patient from their very first night.
We have outlined some information below to help with your understanding of snoring
What causes snoring?
Snoring is caused by partial closures of your airways due to relaxed muscles in your neck, seriously restricting the passage of air. Your body compensates for this by forcing air through. This causes vibrations of the soft tissues lining the airway which in turn generates the noise of snoring.
There are also several other possible reasons why people snore such as blocked or stuffy nose , sleeping on your back, sleeping with your mouth open or a deviated septum. In addition, other factors such as overeating, lack of exercise, smoking and excessive alcohol intake may contribute to snoring.
Is snoring serious?
Yes, it disturbs sleeping patterns and deprives the snorer of appropriate rest. When snoring is severe, it can cause serious, long term health problems, including obstructive sleep apnoea.
There are 2 types of medical snoring conditions –
- Snoring without sleep apnoea
- Snoring with sleep apnoea (mild, moderate, severe)
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?
When loud snoring is interrupted by frequent episodes of totally obstructed breathing, it is known as obstructive sleep apnea. Serious episodes last more than ten seconds each and occur more than seven times per hour. Apnoea patients may experience 30 to 300 such events per night. These episodes can reduce blood oxygen levels, causing the heart to pump harder.
The immediate effect of sleep apnoea is that the snorer must sleep lightly and keep his muscles tense in order to keep airflow to the lungs. Because the snorer does not get a good rest, he may be sleepy during the day, which impairs job performance and makes him a hazardous driver or equipment operator. After many years with this disorder, elevated blood pressure and heart enlargement may occur.
Self-Help for the Light Snorer
Adults who suffer from mild or occasional snoring should try the following self-help remedies: Adopt a healthy and athletic lifestyle to develop good muscle tone and lose weight.
- Avoid tranquillisers, sleeping pills, and antihistamines before bedtime.
- Avoid alcohol for at least four hours and heavy meals or snacks for three hours before retiring.
- Establish regular sleeping patterns
- Sleep on your side rather than your back.
- Tilt the head of your bed upwards four inches.
Remember, snoring means obstructed breathing, and obstruction can be serious. It’s not funny, and not hopeless.
Can heavy snoring be cured?
Snoring can be a treatable condition. Dr Shah spends time taking a thorough history and carrying out diagnostic tests as to the cause of your snoring. After this, we recommend the appropriate treatment.
We work closely with sleep specialists to ensure you receive the best quality of care to aid in the resolution of this condition
Possible treatments can include nasal decongestants, antihistamines or provision of an anti-snoring device. These devices are custom made for each individual patient. The process is very simple involving the dentist taking moulds of the upper and lower jaw. These moulds are then sent to our lab where the appliance is constructed. This appliance is custom made for you and is not one of the readily available “generic” devices, where one size fits all. You will wear it when you sleep and it positions the mandible in such a way that it promotes breathing through the nose and reduces the amount of obstruction caused by the soft palate encroaching on the airway. Most patients take very little time to get used to this with the benefits being evident after the first night.
The anti-snoring device we use is a patented design, and unlike many other devices has a strong body of evidence to support its use.
If you think you can benefit from our anti-snoring services please call us on 01727 893 430 to book a consultation with one of our dentists.