Always Get a Sleep Test
Snoring is commonly associated with sleep apnea, and the louder you snore, the more likely it is that you have it. Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening condition, and needs to be treated as such. Before we begin snoring treatment, we need to know whether we’re treating simple snoring or snoring plus sleep apnea.
Most people can take a sleep test at home to determine if they have sleep apnea. If you don’t have sleep apnea, you can be more flexible in approaching snoring treatment.
Home Treatment for Snoring
You can try to treat simple snoring at home. However, you should not attempt this with sleep apnea. With sleep apnea, it’s possible to alleviate the sound of snoring but still have oxygen deprivation that triggers serious health problems.
Some home treatment approaches for snoring (not sleep apnea) include:
- Become a side sleeper: Airway collapse is the cause of snoring, and your airway is less likely to collapse when you’re sleeping on your side.
- Limit alcohol consumption in the evening: Alcohol is a relaxant and can cause the muscle in your airway to relax, making the airway collapse more likely. Don’t drink too much alcohol at night, and try to stop drinking at least three hours before going to bed.
- Get daily exercise: Exercise helps strengthen the muscles that hold your airway open. Although some people recommend specific exercises for snoring, most data suggests that simply getting more exercise generally is effective at reducing snoring.
- Maintain a healthy weight: It’s also important to maintain a healthy weight. Fat deposits in the throat narrow the airway and pull it closed. Reducing the weight you carry around the airway can reduce your snoring.
- Reduce irritation of the airway: When your airway is irritated, it will swell up, which narrows the space for air, leading to more snoring. Get rid of allergens in your sleeping environment. Quit smoking. Figure out if you have food allergies. Consider using a humidifier.
These tips can help you reduce snoring. For some people, they might be enough, but even if not, they can improve your snoring to make other treatments even more effective.
NightLase is a laser treatment that can significantly reduce your snoring. A laser gently heats your soft palate–the back part of the roof of your mouth. This creates minor, painless injuries that trigger a healing response in your tissue. As the tissue heals, it both firms and shrinks, so it provides less restriction of your breathing at night. It’s also less likely to vibrate–which is what causes the noise you hear as snoring.
NightLase takes just three treatments of 20 minutes spaced a month apart from each other. In clinical trials, people saw an 85% reduction in their snoring. For about 75% of people, these results lasted two years or more.
Oral Appliance Therapy
We utilize oral appliance therapy to treat sleep apnea, but many oral appliances are also very effective snoring treatments. These come in many shapes and styles, so that you can find one that works well for you.
Because snoring occurs when your airway narrows, holding your airway open will generally reduce or eliminate snoring. Oral appliance therapy works by using your jaw to hold your airway open at night. Since your jaw is the main bony support for your airway, this can be very effective.
Here are a few of the oral appliances that are great for snoring treatment:
- Herbst Sleep Appliance: This sturdy appliance is great for treating snoring and sleep apnea. It’s also effective for people with sleep bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding at night).
- Moses Sleep Appliance: This oral appliance has an open front, making it comfortable for people who don’t like the feel of full oral appliances. It also helps to elevate the tongue, so it can help people who would benefit from tongue advancement.
- Respire Sleep Appliance: This sleep appliance is very small, ensuring you have plenty of space in your mouth. It’s great for people with narrow arches who find other sleep appliances to be uncomfortable.
- Suad Sleep Appliance: This appliance lets you move your teeth from side to side more than many other sleep appliances. It’s also sturdy enough to protect your teeth from bruxism.
- DNA Appliance: The DNA appliance works to reshape your airway so that it is permanently larger. The goal is that you will essentially cure snoring and/or sleep apnea. It’s not always an effective cure, but many people see a reduction in the severity of snoring.
Our sleep dentists will talk to you about the benefits of each appliance, and we might utilize detailed imaging of your airway to make scientific recommendations about the best oral appliance for you.
Get Relief from Snoring in Lee’s Summit
If you or your partner are sick of snoring, you don’t have to continue to suffer. There are effective snoring treatments available. You just might not find them without professional help.
If you’ve tried home treatments and are ready for a professional snoring treatment, please call (816) 795-1000 or use our online form to schedule an appointment at the Center for TMJ & Sleep Apnea in Lee’s Summit.