Subject: FW: SNORING
WHAT IS SNORING?
Snoring occurs as we progressively go from light to deeper sleep, and the muscles
of the palate, tongue, and throat relax so that the tongue and palate can vibrate
against the throat as we breathe in and out. More than one-third of adults snore,
and the sounds can be a problem when they are loud enough to prevent the sleep of
others, sometimes to the point of causing many couples to sleep apart and causing
The occurrence of snoring usually relates to the inherited anatomic features of
the tissues including the sizes and positioning of the jaws, tongue, palate, uvula,
tonsils, adenoids, and throat. If these structures are so arranged that the tongue
and palate can relax far enough backward, then the airway narrows to cause more
forceful air flow and the loud snoring noises. Other factors that can contribute to
snoring include anatomic or congestive nasal obstruction, weight, and anything that
affects the degree of muscular relaxation such as medications or alcohol.
From a health aspect, persistent snoring can be an indicator of a serious medical
problem called sleep apnea when the loud sounds stop for ten seconds or more due to
blockage of the airway
1. Lose weight. Being overweight can cause throat tissues to enlarge and they are
more likely to vibrate
as you breathe. Also, the airway space is narrowed.
2. Sleep on your side to minimize the backward motion of your tongue.
3. Nasal strips or decongestants can allow for easier and better airflow.
4. Limit anything that might contribute to the amount of muscle
relaxation such as sedative medications and alcohol.
Consult your physician. The primary recommendations are likely to include the Self
Help steps listed on this website. If these recommendations did not help, then
professional treatment options include:
1.. Oral appliances. Custom made and fitted appliances are the simplest and most
comfortable way to hold the lower jaw, tongue, and palate in a slightly forward
position to keeps the airway open. Only your doctor can provide a fully adjustable
device to optimize the reduction or elimination of snoring.
2.. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). This utilizes an air pressure
machine with a hose connected to a nose or face mask to keep the airway open as you
sleep. Although CPAP is one of the preferred methods of treating Sleep Apnea, most
patients find it uncomfortable as a treatment for snoring and regular use for is
3.. Surgery. Numerous surgical approaches have been developed, and the most
common procedures are designed to increase air flow by correcting nasal, adenoid,
or tonsil abnormalities. Most other surgery is designed to either remove some of
the back of the palate or to advance the lower jaw. Unfortunately the benefit of
any of these surgeries is unpredictable and even the most optimistic success
estimates do not reach 50%.
No one treatment is effective for every patient, and if Self Help doesn�t work
then the best course can only be determined by your physician after a full history
and examination to determine the causes and best therapeutic approach.
David L. Burns D.D.S.
4616 West Jefferson Blvd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46804