When you think of options to help your snoring, talking to your dentist is probably the last thing to come to mind. However, your dentist might just have the solution you need in the form of a custom oral appliance. Here is some information on how it works.
How An Oral Appliance Stops Snoring
Snoring has different causes. A big one is when your airway collapses when you sleep because it becomes so relaxed. One way to open your airway is to pull your lower jaw forward. This is where an oral appliance can help. An oral appliance fits over your teeth like a mouth guard. The top and bottom are connected so a slight pressure is on the bottom portion of the appliance. The pressure is enough to pull your lower jaw forward and keep the tissues in your throat from vibrating against each other to make the snoring sound.
The Appliance May Help With Sleep Apnea Too
When your throat becomes relaxed, the tissues collapse in your throat and block airflow. This is what causes the snoring sound. At times, the blockage is so severe that airflow completely stops even though you move your chest and try to breathe. This is called obstructive sleep apnea, and it is a serious medical problem. A custom dental appliance can possibly treat your sleep apnea when other treatments aren't tolerated or don't work. If your doctor decides an oral appliance is needed, he or she will refer to you a dentist to have one made to custom fit your mouth.
How You Wear A Snoring Appliance
You only have to wear the device at night when you sleep or during the day when you nap. Because it is molded to fit your mouth, it is comfortable to wear. The device is made from soft plastic, and while it may take time to get used to having it in your mouth, you'll be able to sleep with it comfortably. In fact, you may sleep better if the device keeps you from snoring and waking constantly at night. To use the appliance, all you have to do is insert it into your mouth much like you would a guard you wear when playing sports. Then, you remove it when you wake up in the morning. As long as you're awake, you don't need to wear it, so you can remove it at night if you wake up for a drink or to use the bathroom.
Snoring is very disruptive to you and your partner. It prevents both of you from getting restful sleep. Plus, if it is bad enough, it can even progress into sleep apnea and cause medical complications. You'll want to work closely with your doctor and your dentist to find a solution to the problem so you can sleep better and feel more rested the next day.