Snoring, is caused by vibrations in the respiratory structures. It occurs during sleep when the area at the back of the throat or in the nose relaxes and narrows. The restriction of air movement through the narrow airway results in snoring.
Snoring is often a warning sign of sleep apnoea, which occurs when the airway becomes completely blocked and no air is able to pass through at all.
There are many reasons for snoring some of which are –
Being overweight and having excess fatty tissue around the neck.
Smoking causes inflammation of the airway and irritates the nasal passages.
Alcohol slows the brains responses causing more relaxation than usual.
Medication, antihistamines and sleeping pills in particular, have the same effect as alcohol
Allergies which cause swelling of the nasal passages.
Asthma, colds and sinus infections which cause inflammation of the airway.
Having a narrow throat, obstructions in the nose and/or underdeveloped jaws
Enlarged adenoids, tonsils or a cleft palate all contribute to snoring.
Age causes a loss of muscle tone which creates a narrowing of the airway.
Once sleep Apnoea is suspected a sleep study will be carried out to confirm the diagnosis.
How your dentist can help with snoring
There are many products on the market to help with snoring, but your dentist can fabricate a device that is custom made for you. It is called a Mandibular Advancement Device and works by holding your lower jaw and tongue forward therefore keeping your airway open whilst you sleep. Please speak to your dentist for further advice.
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