Lexington, KY Family and Cosmetic Dentists, Dr. Larry Kopczyk, Dr. Brian Vieth, and Dr. Tim Majors.  Alumni Dental Center
Snoring

The danger of snoring

Although the frequent subject of humor, in many cases, snoring is no laughing matter! Not only does snoring disrupt the sleep cycles of other family members, but in the case of sleep apnea, snoring can be a sign of a dangerous health problem. Sleep apnea actually cuts off the flow of oxygen to the brain, and in severe cases can cause serious damage.

How snoring affects others

Even if sleep apnea is not indicated, the disruption of the sleep cycles of family members can create a hazard. Recent studies have indicated that repeated disruption of sleep patterns can cause sufferers to perform motor skills at or below the levels of individuals who are legally intoxicated! So even if your snoring is not a sign of sleep apnea, it is likely that your snoring could be a real threat to your loved ones, because impaired reaction behind the wheel of an automobile can lead to disaster regardless of the cause.

What causes snoring?

Quite simply, snoring is caused by a partially obstructed airway. When you sleep, the soft tissue and muscles in your mouth and throat relax, causing your airway to become smaller. If your airway becomes small enough, your soft palate and uvula begin to vibrate when you inhale and exhale. These vibrations are the cause of the sound most people call snoring.

What can be done to stop snoring?

Many traditional treatments use cumbersome pressurization equipment to open the airway. A simpler, and more effective method is to keep the airway open by utilizing a simple mouthpiece that maintains proper jaw alignment for safe and healthful sleep. This mouthpiece, similar to a sports mouthpiece, allows the patient to breathe through either the nose or mouth.
Snore Guard

 

jaw relaxed
On the left, without a snore prevention mouthpiece, the patient's lower jaw relaxes and causes his airway to constrict, resulting in snoring. On the right, with the snore prevention mouthpiece in place, the lower jaw is maintained in proper position so the airway remains open, and snoring is eliminated.
with snore guard

What can be done about sleep apnea?

One treatment for sleep apnea is the Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP). To learn more about the Thornton Adjustable Positioner, visit their web site.