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Snoring solutions

We all know what a difference a good night’s sleep can make. Unfortunately, snoring is a common problem, which affects up to 60% of the UK adult population.

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What causes snoring?

When you snore, the noises that can be heard are generated by the vibration of the soft tissue at the back of the throat in the upper airway. When you’re sleeping, the muscles in the airway relax, and this can cause partial obstruction. In response, the body works harder to breathe, increasing the force at which air is both inhaled and exhaled and causing the soft tissue to vibrate.
Snoring is most common in males, and it tends to affect those who are overweight. Smoking and drinking alcohol can also elevate the risk of snoring, and you’re more likely to snore if you lie on your back, rather than your side. Snoring is also more common in older people. Around 60% of men aged over 60 snore on a regular basis.

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Is snoring the same as sleep apnoea?

Snoring is often confused with sleep apnoea. While very loud snoring can be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnoea, sleep apnoea is a medical condition in its own right. The term apnoea means a period of halted breathing, which is brought about by obstruction of the airways. In many cases, these windows last around 10 seconds, but they can be longer, and in extreme cases, sleep apnoea can be fatal. If the dentist suspects that you may have sleep apnoea, they will advise you to seek specialist help.

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What kinds of treatment options are available for snoring?

There are many solutions and therapies that may be recommended for snoring, and often, the course of treatment will depend on the severity of symptoms and the suspected underlying cause. Sometimes, lifestyle changes and changing your sleeping position may reduce the risk of snoring, but we can also recommend using a device, which opens up the airways while you sleep. At Align & Smile, we can provide you with a dental appliance, which pushes the lower jaw forward slightly while you sleep. This causes the airways to expand and makes it easier to breathe while you snooze.

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FAQs

If you snore on the odd occasion, this is usually nothing to worry about. Many people snore when they have a cough or cold, they sleep on their back or they’ve had a drink in the evening. If you snore on a regular basis or snoring is affecting your day to day life or your relationships with a partner or housemates, it’s a good idea to give us a call.

In many cases, making simple changes to your evening routine and your lifestyle can be beneficial. If snoring persists, we recommend using a device to push the jaw forward and open up the airways.

Snoring is very common. In many cases, it’s a temporary response to feeling unwell or sleeping on your back, but it can also be a sign that you’re not getting enough oxygen while you sleep. If you’re worried about snoring, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our dental team.

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Docklands Dental Referral Centre is the trading name of Dr Sabena Bhuiyan.