Is Snoring Interrupting Your Zzzzz?

Mouth Guards, Snoring

Dr. James Hallam of Laurentian Dental Centre Kitchener

Dr. James Hallam, Laurentian Dental, Kitchener

Almost everyone has an uncle, or cousin, or dad whose snoring is legendary. We often joke about these people and tell stories of how their snoring vibrates walls. However, for many families, this is no joking matter. Snoring often deprives others of sleep and sometimes leads to couples having to sleep in separate bedrooms.

Snoring is not funny; it is a warning sign of danger. Unfortunately, the sleeper does not hear it, and those that do, usually don’t recognize it as a danger signal. Fact is, snoring is sometimes a cry for help from someone who is strangling for air. Snoring can deprive the body of proper oxygen and can put people at risk for elevated blood pressure, heart attack or stroke.

Woman upset in bed that her partner is snoring.

Stop Snoring!

Many researchers today feel that snoring should be viewed as potential evidence of upper airway abnormality. Moreover, the daytime sleepiness and fatigue caused by snoring and mild sleep apnea can have serious consequences – from job impairment due to inattentiveness, to accident and injury (or worse) from falling asleep at the wheel of a motor vehicle.

The good news is that dentists can help stop snoring. Dentistry today offers effective treatment options to reduce or eliminate most mild snoring problems. The solution is a new adjustable dental device that is quite comfortable to wear and less expensive than traditional snoring treatments. Snoring is often eliminated or decreased for almost all patients who use this new dental appliance.

“Shortly after regular use of the device, you should experience decreased snoring and a more comfortable, restful sleep.”

The computer-designed intra-oral device which looks like an athletic mouth guard works by gently holding the lower jaw down and slightly forward during sleep. By comfortably keeping the jaw and tongue in the correct position, the tongue cannot fall towards the throat. This new area of dental care enables the dentist to make a difference in the quality of life for those patients who may be experiencing symptoms of mild obstructive sleep apnea or snoring.

To get comfortable with the device, the patient should wear it for two 15-minute periods daily while awake, for about two weeks. A good time might be during a commute to work, or while reading the newspaper. This “break-in” period will help get your body used to the new appliance. Shortly after regular use of the device, you should experience decreased snoring and a more comfortable, restful sleep.

Yours for better dental health,

This article has been updated from its original posting in May of 2013.

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