Written By Dr. Larry Hill, DMD
In North America, it is estimated that 90 million people snore or have a more serious breathing condition known as sleep apnea. In sleep apnea cases, an individual stops breathing for ten seconds or more hundreds of times each night. Sleep apnea can lead to many serious health problems and produce symptoms like sleepiness during the day and loss of ability to concentrate.
What are the causes of snoring and what can be done to correct it? Snoring can be related to excessive weight, to sleeping on one’s back, consuming alcohol within several hours of going to bed or a genetic predisposition. A constriction of the airway occurs during sleep, which allows the vibrations that we hear as “snoring”.
There are a number of new dental sleep appliances that help to open the airway and reduce snoring. Dental sleep appliances can be quite tolerable and much less bulky than the earlier dental anti-snoring devices. Dental sleep appliances no longer lock the jaw into one position, leaving you free to yawn, talk and even sip water while wearing them. A consultation with your dentist will let you know whether a dental sleep appliance is appropriate for you.
Your dentist will establish that you do not have sleep apnea or refer you to a physician to have this evaluated. Even when sleep apnea is diagnosed by a physician, dental sleep appliances can be a very effective treatment method. The cost of these appliances is roughly equal to a weekend away for a couple and the benefits are significant. If you have dental insurance these appliances may even be partially covered.
Other ways to reduce snoring include reducing weight to an ideal level, sewing a tennis ball into the back of a pajama top to help the sleeper avoid lying on their back, and reducing alcohol consumption before bed.
If you have a snoring problem and would like to stop snoring now, consult with your dentist to see if a dental sleep appliance would benefit you and help you achieve your goals. Read more about sleep apnea on the Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group website.
Dr Hill is a member of the American
Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group is proud to serve your complete dental health needs in Nanaimo. Our Nanaimo dentists and dental hygienists believe in continuous learning to bring you the latest technology in dental medicine and our team of dental professionals aspire to the highest level of patient care. At each visit to our office we treat you with the respect, honesty and dignity that you deserve.