Research has shown that snoring is quite common – affecting approximately 40% of the adult population at some point. Age, being overweight or consuming alcohol can also increase the likelihood of snoring.
Obstructive sleep apnoea occurs when the obstruction of the upper airway lasts for a period of several seconds – even up to a minute, where no breath is taken in. When breathing starts again, there’s a sudden loud gasp for air. The sufferer will remain asleep and will not be aware of this.
Sleep apnoea is a medical condition as oxygen deprivation during sleep has physiological effects on the body and consequences such as daytime drowsiness from disturbed sleep.
Not everyone who snores suffers from sleep apnoea, but those who suffer from sleep apnoea will almost always snore.
We’ll first need to assess the severity of your snoring and the possibility of sleep apnoea.
Your dentist will first examine your teeth and mouth, and ask you to complete a questionnaire. When appropriate, it can be helpful to involve your partner in completing this.
To prevent or reduce snoring, your dentist can make you a custom-made oral appliance that you wear at night.
The most effective type of appliance consists of two parts, fitting over the upper and lower teeth. These are joined together, holding the lower jaw in a forward position. The space at the back of the throat is opened, increasing airflow and preventing the relaxed throat tissues from vibrating against each other.
If an anti-snoring device is right for you, we will take impressions of your teeth and send them to our laboratory. Then, when you come back to the practice about 2 weeks later, we’ll check the fit of your custom-made appliance and give you full instructions on how it should be used and adjusted.
Where sleep apnoea is suspected an appliance may still be prescribed, but it’s important that a medical diagnosis is made. Your doctor may advise you to attend a sleep clinic where other treatments may be suggested.
It is not possible to guarantee that an appliance will work for everyone.
However, statistics show that for 62% of people, it can eliminate the noise of snoring. For another 25%, the noise of snoring will be significantly reduced but not eliminated, and in a few cases, the device may not help at all.
You can expect your anti-snoring appliance to last about 3 years before it needs replacing.Back to Other Treatments
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