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Sleep Dentistry

What is snoring?

Snoring is caused by a partial closure of your airway during sleep due to a relaxation of the muscles in your neck. The soft tissue then vibrates to cause the sound of snoring.

  • Normal airflow
  • The Soft Pallet relaxes and restricts the airflow
  • The Soft Pallet vibrates, causing the 'snore'
  • The Epiglotis may also restrict the airflow and may even cause 'Sleep Apnia'
  • The Silensor is introduced which when positioned and adjusted brings the

    lower soft tissue forward

Why does it happen?

Certain factors increase the chances of being a snorer:-

  • Physiology - Some of us are more likely to snore due to our physiology
  • Sex - Men tend to put on upper body weight and therefore have more soft tissue around the neck.

    This makes men more prone to snoring
  • Sex - Men tend to put on upper body weight and therefore have more soft tissue around the neck.

    This makes men more prone to snoring
  • Age - As we age our muscles become weaker and this can lead to weaker throat muscles
  • Lifestyle - Some people snore after drinking alcohol or taking sleeping tablets.

    This causes additional relaxation of muscles in the neck and throat

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)?

Some snorers “Stop Snoring” and also “Stop Breathing” only to “Start Snoring and Breathing” again a few seconds later often accompanied by a choke or gasp or snort - this is an indication the Snorer has OSA. Every time we stop breathing, known as “Apnoea”, our bodies are starved of oxygen. Our brain instructs our body to partially awaken by releasing adrenalin. Most OSA victims have no memory of this all- night life-and-death struggle for oxygen. OSA robs it's sufferers of restful sleep leaving them feeling tired, sleepy and exhausted during the day as well as contributing to many other health problems.

Many people including people who drive for a living have OSA and don't realise it. Sleep apnoea is more common in middle aged men (30-65 years), though it can occur in all age groups.

How is my health & lifestyle affected?

Snoring has an immense impact on the health and quality of life for the snorer, their partner and family. The lack of sleep caused by snoring has wide reaching effects such as:-

  • Daytime sleepiness poor motivation higher stress levels
  • Lack of energy driving while tired less effectiveness at work
  • In addition snoring and especially OSA contribute to other serious health and lifestyle issues

OSA treatments

The treatment options for OSA can be split depending on the severity. For severe OSA Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is the clear gold standard treatment, with the highest clinical success. Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) therapy tends to be the treatment of choice for mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnoea as it is very effective, less expensive and more patient friendly compared to CPAP.

MAS therapy can be offered in combination with CPAP as it holds the lower jaw forward thereby opening the airway hence reducing the air pressure required.

Patients who have a low CPAP compliance threshold should be considered for MAS therapy.

Mandibular advancement splints (MAS)

The MAS is by far the most common form of intra-oral appliance used in the management of snoring. There is considerable variation in the design of MAS, but all posture the mandible forwards, to a varying extent, with a degree of vertical opening.

For more information and a free assessment, please call the practice.

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