Snoring can not only be harmful to you, but it can also affect the sleep of those around you. Snoring is often caused by an obstructed airway, and is a common symptom of sleep apnea. There is hope for people who snore and you can even prevent snoring by looking into oral devices that can help as well as visiting your dentist!
How Mandibular Advancement Devices Help
Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD) are oral sleep appliances that can effectively prevent snoring by keeping your airway open. They help your lower jaw to move slightly forward and keep your tongue in its place in the lower jaw so that it can’t obstruct your breathing or fall toward the back of your mouth during sleep.
These appliances open your airway and allow you to breathe easily during sleep and can even improve strength in the muscles that keep your airway open, including your tongue. MADs are named so because your lower jaw (mandibular) is moved forward (advanced) with the device. MADs are custom made by your dentist to help stop snoring and even treat sleep apnea!
Visit Your Dentist
If you suffer from snoring, it’s crucial to visit your dentist because the majority of people who snore—about 75% of them—actually suffer from a condition called obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your airway is effectively blocked and you stop breathing during the night—this can happen for up to a minute or more and may happen numerous times during a single night.
Sleep apnea increases your risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease and should always be treated by your doctor. Oral sleep appliances such as MADs can help! Your dentist can help talk with you about your symptoms and refer you to a sleep specialist that can diagnose your condition. If you suffer from sleep apnea and snoring, MADs can help!
Other Things You Can Try
Snoring can be prevented by trying other methods as well, whether alone or in accordance with MADs and your dentist visit! You may try:
Sleeping on your side. Sleeping on your back can cause your airway to be even more obstructed. When trying to alleviate snoring, it’s best to give sleeping on your side a try.
Staying hydrated. Dehydration can cause secretions of your nose and throat to become thicker, so always drink enough water during the day. Staying hydrated makes for a healthy mouth as well!
Avoiding alcohol. Alcohol can act as a depressant which can make the muscles in your throat and airway relax to the point that they collapse and cause snoring and worsen existing obstructive sleep apnea.
Getting enough sleep. When you’re overtired and exhausted, the muscles in your airway can relax more than they should when you do finally fall asleep, making snoring more likely! Always aim to get about eight hours a night.
Do you suffer from snoring and prevent your partner from getting enough sleep? Schedule a visit with your dentist to talk about your snoring and any other symptoms you’re experiencing. He or she may refer you to a sleep specialist to ensure obstructive sleep apnea isn’t an issue,but they may also be able to help with MADs. Stop snoring today!