What is snoring?
The noise of snoring is caused by the vibration of the soft
tissues in the upper airway. During sleep the muscles of the
upper airway relax resulting in the formation of bottlenecks
or even complete obstruction of the airways. The body reacts
by increasing the velocity of the air which in turn causes
vibration of the soft tissues which generates the noise of
Why do some people snore and others do not?
The following factors may contribute
• Genetic traits
• Being overweight
• A larger than normal neck girth
• Pregnant women
• Age- older people are more prone as skin starts to
thin and loose elasticity
• Alcohol consumption
• Drugs that relax the muscles
• Sleeping on ones back
• Nasal obstruction
Who gets sleep apnea?
. People most likely to develop sleep apnea include:
• Those who snore loudly.
• Are overweight.
• Have high blood pressure.
• Have a physical abnormality in the nose, throat/or
other parts of the upper airway. Most common is a narrow or
collapsing dental arch and large tongue.
• There is also some evidence for familial tendencies,
suggesting a possible genetic basis.
What is an Oral Appliance?
Oral appliances (OA) that treat snoring are devices worn
in the mouth similar to sports mouth guards or orthodontic
retainers. They are made of plastic and fit partially or completely
within the mouth. These appliances are to be worn at night
or during sleep.
Advantages of using an Oral Appliance (OA):
Most people find them easy to wear and comfortable
Oral appliances are small and convenient making them easy
to carry when travelling
Treatment with oral appliances is reversible and non-invasive
How do I know if I am
a candidate for an oral appliance?
We will evaluate the severity of your condition. If we feel
that you are a good candidate for OAT, we will further evaluate
your oral condition and discuss your treatment options.
How does the OA prevent
snoring and OSA?
Oral appliances work in several ways:
• By repositioning the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate
• By stabilizing the lower jaw and tongue.
• By increasing the muscle tone of the tongue.
• Through the above actions, the tissues and tongue
are prevented from collapsing into the throat, thus keeping
the airway open and unobstructed. Since air flows freely into
the lungs, the forced flow of air and vibrations of the tissue
(known as snoring) do not occur.
How successful is OAT
(Oral Appliance Therapy)?
For mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea, oral appliances have been
found to be about 76% effective. For the treatment of snoring
control, OA's are over 90% effective.
Are there any long term
health consequences to snoring/ Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
All cells in our body require adequate oxygen to function.
Low blood oxygen can impact all organs, especially the brain.
In patients with untreated sleep apnea, the lowering of blood
oxygen levels can contribute to the development of heart irregularities.
In addition, blood pressure can be elevated due to the stress
on the heart, and at least 33% of people with sleep apnea
have high blood pressure. Because of the cardiovascular effects,
sleep apnea is known to be a cause of sudden death during
sleep, although this is an uncommon occurrence.
What is done if I need
an oral appliance?
On your first visit, we will examine your teeth and mouth
thoroughly and may confirm your oral health status with x-rays.
If it is concluded that OAT is the best treatment option for
you, dental impressions may be taken. These impressions are
used by the laboratory to fabricate your custom made oral
appliance. Regular recall visits are important to maintain
or modify your oral appliance over time.
What are the side effects associated
with Oral Appliance Therapy?
Patients using Oral Appliance Therapy may experience the following
• Excessive salivation or dryness.
• Morning soreness in the teeth or jaw muscles.
Most of these side effects improve within a few weeks of regular
use and some adjustments of the appliance. Periodic recall
maintenance is important to track any potential side effects
and to maintain/adjust the appliance. Patients with arthritis
and chronic jaw joint dysfunction may have difficulty tolerating
Why worry about snoring? Isn't
it just an annoying, but normal, sleep habit?
No. Since it's so common, most people assume it's only a nuisance
to the bed partner. However, besides being disruptive to close
relationships, snoring is a sleep-breathing disorder and can
lead to serious health problems.
Are there people
that aren't good candidates for OAT?
It is always best to evaluate if you are a good candidate
for OAT during your initial consultation. There are several
conditions that may be contraindicated for OAT:
• Central Sleep Apnea as opposed to Obstructive Sleep
• Fibromyalgia and severe arthritis.
• Poor dental health.
• Chronic untreated TMJ symptoms.
• Very obese individuals.
• Limited jaw movements