Dr. Jeff Martin and Dr. William Taylor are not marriage counselors, but they’ve certainly done their part in saving a few marriages! What have they done to have such a profound impact on the marital bliss of their patients? Provide a snore guard! Such an easy fix for such a prevalent problem in marriage! In fact, according to Colleen Carney, Director of Ryerson’s Sleep and Depression Laboratory, as many as 30-40 per cent of married couples sleep in different beds due to one spouse keeping the other awake! And as you well know, sleepy campers are not happy campers!
Why do People Snore?
Snoring is caused by a restriction in a person’s airway when they sleep. The air is being forced in and out of a smaller opening which causes the tissue to vibrate and make a sound. Kind of like when you pinch the end of a balloon as you let the air out. As you fall asleep, the muscles in the roof of your mouth (soft palate), tongue and throat relax. Those relaxed tissues narrow the airway and vibrate as air is forced past them. The more narrow the opening, the louder the snore! Many factors may contribute to snoring: allergies, being overweight, sleeping position, anatomy of the mouth and sinuses, and alcohol consumption.
What are Snore Guards?
A snore guard is a plastic appliance worn in the mouth while sleeping. The guard holds the soft palate in place, preventing it from relaxing during sleep. This in turn keeps the airway open so that snoring doesn’t occur. There are some snore guards available over the counter from the drugstore, however those are not adjustable. The ones from your dentist are custom made for you. Because dentist-made snore guards have adjustable hinges, they can be designed with a much better fit than a generic guard, so that they will be much more comfortable and effective.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea
There are some cases however where snore guards are not the answer. Some people who snore are suffering from a more serious condition, known as sleep apnea. Those folks might need a different approach to solving their snoring problem. During a consultation, Dr. Martin and Dr. Taylor ask their patients specific questions that help them decide if a snore guard is the appropriate solution. If they discover the patient is more likely to suffer from sleep apnea, they may suggest the person follow up with a medical doctor to schedule a sleep study. Often, people with sleep apnea are treated with a CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) machine rather than a snore guard. This not only treats the snoring but also the other medical issues sleep apnea can present.
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