What is snoring?
Snoring is caused by the vibration of the soft tissues in the upper airway. When we sleep the muscles in this area relax, and can cause restriction or complete obstruction of the airway. The body reacts to this by forcing air through and causing vibration of the soft tissues – generating the noise of snoring.
Approximately 40% of adults snore. People who are overweight or have taken alcohol are more likely to snore. It also tends to worsen as we get older.
Normal snoring may not be a problem. In some cases however it can be loud and very disturbing. An anti-snoring appliance fitted by your dentist may help control or eliminate snoring. Impressions are taken and a custom made device a little like an orthodontic retainer is fitted. The function of this device is to allow unrestricted passage of air by moving the lower jaw forward and with it the tongue and soft palate. The cost of this appliance is € 750 approx.
Loud disturbing snoring may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnoea. In such cases a more complex CPAP device may be required.
OSA is characterised by abnormal pauses in breathing during sleep. These pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and can occur several times an hour. Someone with sleep apnoea is rarely aware of their difficulty breathing, and symptoms may be present for years. It causes daytime sleepiness, constant fatigue and lack of concentration. Diagnosis of sleep apnoea requires an oximetry test (Polysomnography). Treatment includes reducing consumption of alcohol, losing weight and quitting smoking. A device which generates positive airways pressure is the most effective.