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Snoring is a problem that effects 40% of adults by the age of 40. It is conservatively estimated that 45 million people in the United States snore every night. Snoring can cause disrupted sleep for both snorers and their sleeping partners and it can lead to health problems.
Snoring is the harsh sound that occurs when the tissue at the back of the roof of the mouth vibrates against the back of the throat. During sleep, those tissues, the tongue and the muscles that line the airway all relax. When this occurs, the airway narrows. As air passes through the narrower airway, the tissues vibrate against each other and create the snoring sound that can grow louder during sleep. Snoring may also be an indication of a bigger health problem-sleep apnea.
Common causes of snoring
- Age. As you reach middle age and beyond, your throat becomes narrower, and the muscle tone in your throat decreases.
- The way you’re built. Men have narrower air passages than women and are more likely to snore. A narrow throat, a cleft palate, enlarged adenoids, and other physical attributes that contribute to snoring are often hereditary.
- Nasal and sinus problems. Blocked airways make inhalation difficult and create a vacuum in the throat, leading to snoring.
- Being overweight or out of shape. Fatty tissue and poor muscle tone contribute to snoring.
- Alcohol, smoking, and medications. Alcohol intake, smoking, and certain medications can increase muscle relaxation leading to more snoring.
- Sleep posture. Sleeping flat on your back causes the flesh of your throat to relax and block the airway.
Don’t let snoring damage your relationship.
Get Non-invasive Sleep Apnea Treatment.
Is snoring causing a rift in your relationship? No matter how much you love each other, the loss of sleep from frequent snoring can strain a relationship as well as put your partner’s health at risk.
When snoring is a problem, relationship tension can grow in the following ways:
- Sleeping alone. If you or your partner snores, one of the easiest solutions is for you to sleep apart in different rooms. This often results in a lack of needed physical intimacy, straining the relationship. And if you’re the one snoring, you might feel lonely, isolated, and frustrated about something you feel you have no control over.
- Snoring spats. It’s common to be irritable when sleep loss is an issue, but try reining in your frustration. Remember, you want to attack the snoring problem—not your sleep partner.
- Partner resentment. When a non-snorer feels he or she has done everything possible to sleep through the night (ear plugs, noise machines, etc.) but his or her partner does nothing to combat his or her own snoring, it can lead to resentment. Working as a team to find a snoring cure can prevent future fights.
If you value your relationship, make it your priority to find a snoring cure so you can both sleep soundly. Working together to stop snoring can even be an opportunity to improve the quality of your bond and become more deeply connected.
Those who experience the interrupted sleeping patterns of sleep apnea face difficult choices when it comes to treatment, oftentimes resulting in bulky CPAP machines or no treatment at all. At Andover Smiles, we offer an easier, more convenient solution – oral appliance therapy.
What is Oral Appliance Therapy?
For patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy is an effective non-invasive sleep apnea treatment option. While most cases of sleep apnea are treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines and masks, this equipment can be loud and uncomfortable to wear. It has been reported that 85 percent of CPAP users stop wearing and using the equipment after one year due to the inconvenience and discomfort.
Oral appliance therapy involves a device similar to an orthodontic retainer or a sports mouthguard that is worn during sleep to protect the soft throat tissues and prevent airway obstruction. Doctor Rinaldi is specially-trained in these devices and can customize, design, and build them to fit each individual case and condition.
The oral appliances work in three ways:
- Bringing the lower jaw forward
- Holding the tongue forward
- Lifting a drooping soft palate
Depending on the individual patient’s needs, a combination appliance may be necessary to perform some or all of these functions for sleep apnea treatment.
What are the Benefits of Using an Oral Appliance?
When using a quality, well-fitted device, recent clinical studies have shown that patients with sleep apnea experienced a significant reduction of their symptoms, while patients with snoring issues had their symptoms either minimized or eliminated entirely. In comparison to other sleep apnea equipment, an oral appliance offers several benefits, including:
- Non-invasive sleep apnea treatment
- The devices are small and easy to wear
- They weigh only a few ounces, allowing convenient portability and travel.
- Customized in design to fit each patient individually, most report being completely used to the device within a few weeks.
- In terms of cost, oral appliance therapy is less expensive than alternative forms.
- Unlike other treatments, oral appliance therapy is non-invasive and completely reversible.
Leaving sleep apnea untreated can be risky and can possibly lead to larger health issues such as high blood pressure, heart problems, daytime fatigue, complications with future surgeries and liver problems. Safe, non-invasive oral appliance therapy with Dr. Rinaldi can effectively treat your symptoms and help prevent you from developing larger health problems as a result of sleep apnea.
The Eccovision® Acoustic Pharyngometer allows Dr. Rinaldi to quickly and easily measure a patients pharyngeal airway size and stability. Studies have shown a clear relationship between the existence of OSA and a narrow, collapsible, airway.
The Pharyngometer accomplishes these measurements using acoustic reflection technology, similar to a ships sonar. Sound waves are projected down the airway and reflected back out in such a way that the Pharyngometer software can analyze and quantify changes in the airways cross-sectional area. The test takes 2-5 minutes to complete.
Our small-office atmosphere and friendly staff here at Andover Smiles treat one person at a time, ensuring that our attention is completely focused on you when you’re in our office. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.