Snoring can be a debilitating problem. It prevents you from getting the right amount and quality of sleep; it also causes problems in relationships if it keeps your partner awake at night.
While some people control their snoring problems through lifestyle changes or through using oxygen therapy at night, these solutions don't work for every snorer. If your snoring is getting you down, and you haven't been able to find a fix yet, then it is worth contacting your dentist to see if they can help.
How can dentists help patients cure their snoring problems?
Some people snore at night because they suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). If you have OSA, then you may snore because your airway gets blocked when you sleep. This causes you to snore and, often, to jerk awake because you can't breathe correctly.
This can happen as your throat muscles relax as you drift off into sleep. Sometimes, your tongue can also get in the way when you're in a relaxed state.
If you can keep your airway open, then you should reduce your snoring and its related problems. In some cases, you may get some relief if your dentist fits a specialist oral appliance, such as a mandibular advancement device.
Here, your dentist makes a special appliance for you that you wear at night. The appliance, which is a kind of like a night guard or retainer, is molded to fit your teeth and mouth.
This ensures that your jaw angles correctly; it may also keep your tongue in a better position so that it can't block your airway. If you can position your jaw and soft tissues more effectively, you may have fewer snoring problems.
In some cases, you can tackle snoring problems by correcting misalignments in your teeth and jaw. For example, if you have a narrow dental arch, then your tongue may be more likely to fall back into your throat because it doesn't have a lot of space in your mouth.
Dentists sometimes recommended using an Invisalign treatment to deal with this problem by widening the arch slightly. If you can do this, then you make more room for your tongue when you sleep. This extra room might prevent your tongue from blocking your airway.
To find out more about whether dental treatments might help you manage your snoring problems, ask your dentist for advice.