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Snoring 101

Snoring 101

Highmoor Dental Snoring Edmonton Dentist

Snoring 101

Snoring Solutions for Sleep Disorders

Do you want to know how to fix loud snoring?

We can help you with that.

Many people think of snoring as a nuisance or quirk. In reality, chronic snoring may be indicative of complications that can cause widespread harm to your body and quality of life.

Fortunately, there are many effective snoring remedies available.

To educate you on snoring, potential complications, and treatments, this article will cover topics and questions such as:

What is snoring?

  • The sound of blocked breathing while you sleep
  • Widespread behaviour, but 25% of adults are habitual
  • A common sign of obstructive sleep apnea
  • Sleep apnea symptoms include fatigue, sore throats, anxiety, depression, irritability, decreased sex drive, and insomnia
  • Sleep apnea can lead to further complications with heart attacks, glaucoma, diabetes, cancer, and cognitive and behavioural disorders

What causes snoring?

  • Blocked airflow at the back of the mouth and nose
  • When the tongue and throat vibrate and strike the soft palate and uvula
  • Risk factors include mouth anatomy, alcohol, nasal issues, sleep deprivation, and sleep position

Snoring solutions

  • Surgeries
  • CPAP machines
  • Custom-fit oral appliances (snore guards)

How to stop snoring

  • Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, avoiding muscle relaxants and sedatives, losing weight, and not sleeping on your back
  • Over-the-counter solutions such as nasal dilator strips, nasal resistance valves, and bumper devices
  • Throat sprays and over-the-counter pills are unproven when it comes to reducing snoring

Snore guard

  • Holds your position in a frontward position to stretch out your soft tissue, significantly reducing snoring
  • According to randomized trials, snore guards decrease the frequency and severity of snoring for people with sleep apnea
  • 81% of study participants wearing an oral appliance had a refreshing sleep, with 99% wishing to continue treatment
  • Benefits include non-invasive treatment, comfortable, easy to wear, quiet, portable, convenient for travel, and easy to care for

What is snoring?

At its base level, snoring is the sound of blocked breathing while you sleep.

While snoring may be disruptive to your own sleep or your partner’s, nearly everyone snores at one point or another. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, 25% of adults are habitual snorers.

Occasional snoring isn’t a problem, but the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine notes that loud and frequent snoring may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)—a condition that could be affecting your life more than you know.

Why?

Because sleep apnea means that your body is not getting enough oxygen during your sleeping, resulting in surprising symptoms, such as:

  • Constant daytime sleepiness and fatigue
  • Dry mouth or sore throats
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Insomnia

Decreased energy during the day is particularly significant. In fact, a study in the Saudi Medical Journal found that individuals with OSA are two to ten times more likely to be in a car accident.

Untreated sleep apnea can lead to severe complications. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, sleep apnea is a factor for conditions, such as:

  • Heart attacks
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Cognitive and behavioural disorders

What causes snoring?

Snoring occurs when the airflow through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose is partially blocked.

More specifically, when your tongue and throat vibrate and strike your soft palate and uvula, causing the hoarse snoring sound.  

According to the Mayo Foundation, there are several different reasons this process may occur:

  • Mouth Anatomy
    • Having a thick soft palate, elongated uvula, or extra tissue in the back of your throat from being overweight can constrict your airway.
  • Alcohol
    • Since alcohol relaxes your throat muscles, drinking it before bed can obstruct airflow while sleeping.
  • Nasal Issues
    • Chronic nasal congestion or a deviated septum narrows your air passage.
  • Sleep Deprivation
    • Not getting enough sleep may result in throat relaxation.
  • Sleep Position
    • Sleeping on your back causes gravity to flatten your airway.

Snoring Solutions

You might be wondering:

“What snoring remedies are available?”

In the worst cases, there are a variety of surgeries available that provide effective snoring treatment.

However, for most heavy snorers with sleep apnea, the American Academy of Otolaryngology notes that CPAP machines are currently the standard way for treating the condition. 

With a CPAP machine, the user straps on a mask over the top of the nose and/or mouth. Unfortunately, this anti snoring device can be disruptive to some people’s sleep.

Consequently, many people are looking to custom-fit oral appliances—a device the American Academy of Otolaryngology calls a “life-changing treatment.”

Essentially, we design a mouth guard for your mouth that repositions the lower jaw forward and opens up the airway.

Highmoor Dental + Sleep Apnea Edmonton Dentist

How to Stop Snoring

There are several lifestyle changes the American Academy of Otolaryngology recommends to stop snoring, such as:

  • Quitting smoking
    • Smoking swells and irritates the breathing passages, which promotes snoring.
  • Reducing alcohol consumption
    • Drinking close to bedtime can relax your throat muscles and cause snoring.
  • Avoiding muscle relaxants and sleeping sedatives
    • These substances can relax the muscles in your throat and cause snoring
  • Losing weight
    • People with obesity are ten times more likely to report OSA because increased fat deposits on the neck weigh on the upper airway.
  • Avoiding sleeping on your back
    • Gravity causes your airway to narrow further, which may cause snoring.

There are several over-the-counter products which can reduce snoring as well, such as:

  • Nasal dilator strips
    • Worn across the bridge of the nose and sides of the nostrils to expand the nasal valve.
  • Nasal resistance valves
    • Single-use valves that treat snoring by creating pressure in and behind the nose.
  • Bumper devices
    • Air or foam-filled belts, vests, and shirts can reduce snoring in those who predominantly sleep on their backs.

Lastly, the American Academy of Otolaryngology warns that various throat sprays and over-the-counter pills are unproven when it comes to reducing snoring.

Snore Guard

We can design a snore guard, otherwise known as a sleep guard, mouth guard, or custom-fit oral appliance, which is an effective solution for reducing snoring.

By holding your jaw in a frontward position, these devices stretch out your soft tissue. The result is unobstructed airflow.

They work exceptionally well:

Many randomized controlled trials have proven the effectiveness of snore guards. For example, one study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine relates that oral appliances decreased the frequency and severity of snoring for people with sleep apnea.

81% of the participants wearing an oral device had a refreshing sleep, compared to 37% of patients who did not have an oral appliance.

99% of participants wearing the oral appliance wished to continue their treatment.

Why?

Because other than being very effective, oral appliance therapy comes with many other benefits. Here are some benefits the American Academy of Otolaryngology recognizes for oral appliances:

  • Non-invasive treatment
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to wear
  • Quiet
  • Portable
  • Convenient for travel
  • Easy to care for

The American Academy of Otolaryngology goes on to say that when regularly used, oral appliances lead to a dramatic improvement in quality of life. This better quality of life is due to better sleep, more energy, and mental sharpness for both you and your partner.

Book a consultation

The truth is that snoring could be holding you back from being your best self.

The behavioural issues and health complications of snoring require a solution.

While there are many lifestyle changes and over-the-counter products that could and should be used to reduce snoring, habitual snorers should seek out a professional opinion to see if a solution like a CPAP machine or a snore guard is necessary.

We are trained to recognize symptoms of sleep apnea. If you are a habitual snorer or suspect you may have sleep apnea, don’t wait to book a consultation and get the quality sleep your body needs.

If you have questions or would like to book a free consultation, give us a call at: (780) 425-1646.

Do you have questions about snoring or sleep apnea?

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