Snoring affects millions of people of all ages, both male and female. Oral appliance therapy is the most common treatment for the most severe snoring problems. Treatment procedures range from changing your sleep patterns to utilizing orthodontic-related appliances that help open the airways during sleep.
What makes the sound of snoring?
Snoring is caused by the vibrations of your soft and/or hard tissue palates; these vibrations occur because of increasingly narrow air passages. When air passes through these passages, a “flapping” sound occurs because the tissue is soft in nature. Surgery (to alleviate the snoring) is not always successful, however, because the sound may not originate from the soft palate; the snoring sometimes originates from tissues in the upper airway.
Loud snorers may (and sometimes may not) have a more serious case of blocked air passages, known as apnea. Sleep studies are the important next step to determine the presence of sleep apnea.
Common causes for snoring:
- Health Problems
- Obstructed Nasal Passages – Deviated Septum
- Poor Muscle Tone of the Tongue
- Daytime Fatigue
- Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious condition that in rare cases can even cause death. Often people with sleep apnea are very tired and fall asleep exceptionally easily during the day, often at inopportune times. The intensity of a person’s snoring is not necessarily an accurate indicator for sleep apnea. Doing a monitored sleep study (sometimes covered under medical insurance when ordered by your physician) is the first step in evaluating the level of sleep apnea and determining if an oral appliance worn at night is the appropriate treatment for you. Patients treated for sleep apnea report a big increase in restful sleep and daytime energy.