The Snoring Problem
You are not alone. Whether you are being elbowed and told to roll over or the one doing the elbowing…you know that snoring is a big problem.
45% of adult men and 30% of adult women snore regularly – at least a few nights every week. 25% of adults are considered habitual snorers.
And the problem isn’t going away. It has a tendency to get worse with age. You may find that you snore more if you have nasal congestion from allergies or a cold, if you use any alcohol or sedating medications, or if you have put on a few extra pounds.
Snoring affects both the snorer and others sleeping in the house. The snorer and those forced to listen to it may both experience headaches, fatigue, and concentration problems during the day as well as personal embarrassment due to relationship/social situations. Snoring has widespread health implications including hypertension, depression and cardiac disease.
Many people really don’t know what causes their snoring and don’t believe there is any way to stop it. It can be a helpless feeling when you don’t want to interrupt others in the night but have no way of preventing it.
Snoring comes from the throat. It is caused when your airway becomes partially blocked. When you sleep, you relax. Your muscles and soft tissues in the back of your mouth or throat - the tongue, uvula, upper throat, and soft palate - rub together creating vibrations and noise.
There are a number of ways to reduce your snoring…some work well, others are not very effective. Weight loss and reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption can help as well as switching to medications that are less sedating.
For some, surgery can help to correct physical issues that can lead to snoring such as a deviated septum. If you think you have a physical reason leading to your snoring, see your doctor.
Not sleeping on your back can also help but it’s not always possible to remain in the same position throughout the night.
Over the counter non-medical products like ear plugs can help deal with the problem but don’t resolve the snoring. Nasal strips and nasal dilators attempt to increase the air flow though the nose but may not change the airflow through the throat where the vibrations are taking place. Throat sprays and lubricants try to lubricate the tissues to reduce friction but do not have a significant benefit.
Chin gear and head wraps attempt to reposition the head, neck and jaw to clear the airway. They can be uncomfortable to sleep in and may not reposition the jaw in the optimal position. Pillows also attempt to hold the head in a way that helps keep your airway open and clear. As you sleep and move around, your position changes on the pillow. The concept behind both of these is good, but unless you can comfortably and consistently keep your airway open all night, the snoring will not end.
Intra-Oral Mandibular Repositioning Devices
Intra-oral (in the mouth) mandibular repositioning snoring devices hold the lower jaw forward in a protruded position drawing the tongue and soft palate forward to maintain and open the airway during sleep. When your jaw is positioned forward, this will help prevent the vibrations that cause snoring. Intra-oral devices have the benefits of being easy and comfortable to wear, effective regardless of the position that you sleep in and they work throughout the whole night.
These intra-oral mandibular repositioning devices are different from a protective mouth guard. Mouth guards for sports are designed to cover and protect your teeth. They do not reposition the jaw to hold it in the optimal breathing position.
There are also devices designed specifically for bruxism (grinding or clenching your teeth). They work great at keeping your teeth from grinding together while you sleep but are not intended to hold your jaw in position to eliminate snoring.
Snore Guard® is an intra-oral (in the mouth) mandibular device that repositions the jaw while you sleep. It’s a simple, one-piece design that allows you to develop a custom mold of your teeth and create a perfect fit. One piece means no moving parts to break down. The custom fitting process ensures that the jaw is not held too far forward to cause discomfort or too far back so that the soft tissues still rub together.
Some people have asked if they can breathe normally with an intra-oral device in their mouth. Snore Guard allows for normal mouth-breathing with Air Flow Technology™.
There may be some minor side effects to consider with intra-oral mandibular repositioning devices. Just like having braces adjusted, you may experience some tooth, jaw or gum pain. This typically lasts only a couple days as you get used to it. If the pain is severe or it persists, you should stop using the intra-oral device. Other side effects can include bite changes, breathing disturbances and some people report salivating more with a device in their mouth. This usually diminishes as you get used to using the device.