Question: Can my dentist help me with my snoring problem?
Answer: Snoring occurs when air flows past relaxed tissues in your throat, causing the tissues to vibrate as you breathe. This can simply be a nuisance to a sleeping partner, or it may indicate a more severe medical condition. Certain lifestyle changes such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol near bedtime, and sleeping on your side can sometimes reduce snoring. Your dentist can also fabricate an appliance that can eliminate snoring. An oral splint is made to fit over the upper and lower teeth in such a way that the lower jaw is gently pulled forward. This prevents the soft tissue at the back of the throat from covering the airway and eliminates the turbulent airflow that causes snoring. Anyone who has a problem with snoring, however, should consider consulting a physician for referral to a sleep clinic to determine if he or she suffers from sleep apnea. This can be a life-threatening condition and cannot be treated with a snoring appliance alone. If you think you or someone close to you could benefit from a snoring appliance, call your dentist today for more information.