What is snoring and how can it be prevented?
After the climax of the passion and physical attraction cools down between couples, their love for each other moves to deeper levels of spiritual intimacy, they become soul mates as well as lovers. But why is it that many of the more mature couples have separate bedrooms? Have they become very French? Snoring has a lot to answer for in that department.
Snoring is defined as a coarse sound made by vibrations of the soft palate and other tissue in the mouth, nose & throat (upper airway). It is caused by turbulence inside the airway during inspiration. The turbulence is caused by a partial blockage that may be located anywhere from the tip of the nose to the vocal chords. The restriction may occur only during sleep, or it may persist all the time and be worse when we are asleep. This is because our muscle tone is reduced during sleep and there may be insufficient muscle tone to prevent the airway tissue vibrating. During waking hours muscle tone keeps the airway in good shape; that's why we don't snore when awake.
Snoring can originate from the nose, oropharynx or the base of the tongue. In recent years it has been found that the tongue plays a far more important role in the incidence of snoring than was once thought. Snoring can cause a social problem and disharmony in marital relationships. It has also been linked to vascular disease, daytime dysfunction and asthma. Sleep apnoea obstructive hypopnoea syndrome on the other hand is a serious health risk. Children and adults who have sleep apnoea , suffer from decreased academic and occupational performance and quality of life.
Risk factors for Snoring and sleep apnoea in adults are:
- Age greater than 65 The major risk factor for snoring and sleep apnoea in children is Enlarged tonsils.
Factors which exacerbate snoring and sleep apnoea are:
- Alcohol and Sleeping Pills
- Sleeping Position
- Respiratory Allergy
- Nasal congestion
Sleep apnoea remains undiagnosed in 93% of snorers. Dentist can help screen for sleep apnoea and refer the patients with a strong suspicion of sleep apnoea to a sleep physician for further investigations.
Treatment of sleep apnoea:
- Behavioral treatment: It can be difficult to achieve and maintain, however it has great results: the changes to consider are weight loss, more active, healthy daily routine, smoking cessation, and reduction of alcohol consumption. Also sleeping on the side or in a more upright position will reduce the snoring.
- Surgical treatment: like tonsillectomy in children and tracheotomy in adults.
- Oral appliances: there are several types of these appliances available on the market, some are prefabricated and some are made by the sleep specialists or dentists for the individuals.
Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD): These appliances mainly move the lower jaw (mandible) to a more protruded position to create more space for the tongue to prevent the obstruction of the upper respiratory tracts by the tongue falling back.
If your married life has been suffering because of your partner’s snoring or simply you are suffering from sleep deprivation caused by your sleep apnoea, call us today on 01923254979 and an appointment with our dentist to discuss it in more details.
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