Peace on earth

Old man snoring on sleep woman protecting her earsMost of us need a bit of peace and quiet if we are to have a good night’s sleep. If there’s a snorer in the house, it can gradually erode your sleep and sleep, once lost, turns into a sleep debt that has to be made up. Fortunately, your dentist can do more than keep your teeth and gums in good condition, they can also help you reduce your snoring.

Many dentists offer treatment for snoring, and if you live in Richmond, the dentists at Sheen Dental can certainly help.

Why snoring happens

Snoring is most often caused by the partial closure of the airway during sleep. This happens when the neck muscles relax and the soft tissue in the upper throat vibrates, emitting the snoring sound. Being older, being overweight, alcohol consumption and even the shape of your airways can all lead to snoring. Snorers are also more likely to suffer from the following conditions: high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol. Whatever the cause, snoring affects your loved ones, and not in a good way.

If snoring is causing sleep deprivation, over time it can lead to fatigue during the day, and it can slow down your reaction times, which isn’t good if you have a job operating machinery or drive to work. It also increases the risk of heart attack.

Is there a solution?

If you snore, you should be checked for sleep apnoea. If your snoring is caused by sleep apnoea, the dentist can help by supplying you with a safe and simple solution for those who have mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea. This is a mandibular advancement splint (MAS) worn during sleep to stop the snoring.

There are different brands of device, so you might be supplied with one called Sleepwell, or one called Silensor. As the names suggest, you wear this device while you sleep. These devices are designed to increase the opening of your airways. They push your lower jaw forward, moving the tongue forward, and thus helping to open your air passage during sleep. A small move forward by the lower jaw of approximately 8–10 mm will keep your airways open to prevent snoring.