As many as one in four people snore regularly and if you are one of them, or far more likely, if you are the partner of someone who snores, you will know just how disruptive it can be. Mihaela Florescu takes a closer look and introduces you to a clinically proven treatment.

Snoring can affect people of all ages, although it is most common in adults aged between 40 and 60, with twice as many men than women who snore.

But what causes snoring?
Snoring is caused by the vibration of soft tissue in the head and neck as we breathe during sleep, this includes the nasal passages, the soft palate in the roof of the mouth and the tonsils.

Whilst we sleep, our airways naturally relax and narrow creating air pressure within the airways that can cause the soft tissue to vibrate. This can also happen if your airways are partially blocked when we have a cold for example. The chances of snoring can also be increased by factors such as being overweight, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and smoking.

Sleep related breathing disorders can demonstrate, to varying degrees, the collapsibility of the airway but with simple and common palatal snoring, there is no full obstruction of the airway, the noise is simply the vibrations of soft tissue. More often than not though, this has less impact on the snorer, some do wake feeling unrefreshed and can suffer headaches and a tenderness in the upper airway, but usually it is those within close proximity that are profoundly affected!

Daytime sleepiness
However, excessive daytime sleepiness can result from insufficient oxygen entering the body and poor quality sleep caused by multiple wakings. Effects of this can include an inability to concentrate, poor memory, a reduction in performance and, in extreme cases, can lead to the sufferer falling asleep unexpectedly. Severe sleepiness has even been found to increase the chances of having an accident whilst driving by seven times.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea
Excessive daytime sleepiness can be a result of obstructive sleep apnoea, a more severe collapsing of the airway in which it is obstructed for multiple periods of time during sleep. Both in the form of a total pause or a significant shallowing of breath, oxygen levels dip and can result in a multitude of symptoms for the sufferer, extreme tiredness, snoring, abnormal movements whilst sleeping, headaches, and psychological issues to name a few.

The effects of snoring and sleep apnoea can have an immense impact on the sufferer, their partner and their family.

•    Daytime sleepiness
•    Motivational issues
•    High stress levels
•    A lack of energy
•    Driving whilst tired
•    Poor effectiveness

Whilst Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is also shown to contribute to more serious health issues.

•    Increased risk of mental health concerns
•    Poor relationship with partner
•    Increased blood pressure
•    Increased risk of diabetes
•    Heightened chance of cordiovascular disease

Introducing a clinically proven solution
Whilst we would always recommend that you try to eliminate potentially contributing factors such as an abstinence from alcohol and caffeine during the evening. Research also shows that sleeping posture also has implications, with greater frequency when lying on one’s back compared with on one’s side. This is probably due to the effect of gravity on the tongue and enlarged soft palate.

But if you do suffer from snoring, a Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) could have a life changing impact.

The most clinically proven MAS for the treatment of snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea, is the Sleepwell device. Only available from a network of trained dentists, North Bridge Dental are proud to be the exclusive supplier of this clinically proven product here in the Scottish Borders.

The Sleepwell device gently holds the lower jaw forward to keep the airway open, customised for each patient, there are a number of splints of the market but this British made device uses a unique manufacturing process and has been shown to be the most clinically successful. The most patient-friendly MAS on the market with a success rate of over 80% (in fully apnoeic patients), Sleepwell is also the most technically advanced and is fully patient adjustable.

If you suffer from snoring, we would be delighted to offer a comprehensive diagnosis, treatment and follow up care service which would start with a snoring assessment. If this proves that you would benefit from a Mandibular Advancement Splint, we are delighted to be able to bring you the most clinically proven device on the market.

Good night and sleep well!