Although snoring is a common problem for many people, it can also be a sign of other major health complications. It is estimated that more than 80 million people in North America snore while sleeping, which not only affects the quality of sleep of the snoring person, but also the quality of sleep of their loved ones and other family members. Luckily, there is a way to treat it.
What causes snoring?
Snoring can be the result of several factors. Typically, it’s caused by the relaxing of the muscles and soft tissues in the throat and mouth, which makes the air passage smaller.
The decrease in space through the airway makes it harder for each breath to get through. When it does, it moves over the soft tissues in the mouth and throat and causes a vibration that results in the snoring sound.
Other causes of snoring may include:
- Excess body weight
- Alcohol consumption
- Certain sleep aides or sedatives
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition in which your breathing stops periodically during sleep, as often as 20 to 30 times per hour. Each time you stop breathing in your sleep, the resulting lack of oxygen alerts your brain, which temporarily wakes you up to restart proper breathing.
Since the time spent awake is so brief, most people with sleep apnea don’t remember it. Many believe they are getting a good night’s sleep when, in fact, they are not. The constant wake-sleep, wake-sleep cycle prevents those with sleep apnea from achieving deep sleep, resulting in a constant drowsy feeling during the day.
How is sleep apnea treated?
Treatments for sleep apnea depend on the severity of each individual case, and the type of apnea. Basic treatment can be behavioral — for instance, patients are instructed to lose weight, stop smoking, or sleep on their sides instead of on their backs.
Beyond that, oral devices, such as a mandibular advancement device, can be used to position the mouth in such a way that prevents throat blockage.
What is a Mandibular Advancement Device?
If you snore at night, then a mandibular advancement device (MAD) may represent a solution and a better night’s sleep! The MAD is a specially designed dental device that gently helps keep the lower jaw, or mandible, in a forward position, and thus increases the space between the airway passage and helps you to breathe better so you can get a full, quiet night’s sleep.
Some devices also stop the tongue from falling back over your windpipe. Dr. Deese will fit these special appliances to meet your individual condition.
Is a MAD comfortable?
The answer is simple — YES! A mandibular advancement device is made to be comfortable, so you can sleep without even noticing you’re wearing it. It does not prevent you from breathing with your mouth open and will even eliminate snoring for patients with sinus congestion or allergies.
You may experience some slight stiffness of the jaw for the first few mornings after wearing the device, but this feeling is only temporary, and will go away after you wake up and remove the device.
To learn more about a mandibular advancement device, contact our practice and schedule an appointment and consultation.