Although the frequent subject of humor, in many cases,
snoring is no laughing matter! Not only does
snoring disrupt the sleep cycles of other family members,
but in the case of sleep apnea, snoring can be a sign
of a dangerous health problem. Sleep apnea actually
cuts off the flow of oxygen to the brain, and in severe
cases can cause serious damage.
How snoring affects others
Even if sleep apnea is not indicated, the disruption
of the sleep cycles of family members can create a hazard.
Recent studies have indicated that repeated disruption
of sleep patterns can cause sufferers to perform motor
skills at or below the levels of individuals who are
legally intoxicated! So even if your snoring is not
a sign of sleep apnea, it is likely that your snoring
could be a real threat to your loved ones, because impaired
reaction behind the wheel of an automobile can lead
to disaster regardless of the cause.
What causes snoring?
Quite simply, snoring is caused by a partially obstructed
airway. When you sleep, the soft tissue and muscles
in your mouth and throat relax, causing your airway
to become smaller. If your airway becomes small enough,
your soft palate and uvula begin to vibrate when you
inhale and exhale. These vibrations are the cause of
the sound most people call snoring.
What can be done to stop snoring?
Many traditional treatments use cumbersome pressurization
equipment to open the airway. A simpler, and more effective
method is to keep the airway open by utilizing a simple
mouthpiece that maintains proper jaw alignment for
safe and healthful sleep. This mouthpiece allows the
patient to breathe through either the nose or mouth.
We have several options available, even for patients
that no longer have their natural teeth!
On the left, without a snore prevention mouthpiece,
the patient's lower jaw relaxes and causes his airway
to constrict, resulting in snoring. On the right,
with the snore prevention mouthpiece in place,
the lower jaw is maintained in proper position so
the airway remains open, and snoring is eliminated.
If someone is snoring in your house, please make an
appointment for a consultation.