Orthodontic treatment for snoring?
Snoring can be a sign of serious illnesses and can lead to dangerous breathing interruptions during sleep. A self-test can make an initial assessment possible here, the East German state chambers of dentists report in their patient magazine "ZahnRat" (issue 86).
The patient magazine of the dentists of the states of Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia illuminates the subject of “snoring” and explains when to expect sleep apnea that is medically unhealthy. The causes are often to be found in the teeth and often a protrusion splint can help, for example.
Causes of snoring
The sound of snoring arises in the upper airways when the muscles relax during sleep and the tongue slides backwards, causing the airways to narrow. When breathing, the soft tissues in the throat begin to vibrate and produce the snoring sound. Disabled nasal breathing can also cause snoring, which in turn can be caused by anatomical peculiarities or diseases such as a cold. Other reasons for a disabled nasal breathing are mentioned in the patient magazine "ZahnRat", among others, maxillary sinus infections or allergies.
Get a snore checked by a doctor
With regular snoring, a medical examination is urgently required, also to rule out serious illnesses. In addition, special dental splints can help against snoring and sleep apnea, the East German state dental associations report. Before going to bed, the splint is used on rows of upper and lower teeth. It slightly pushes the lower jaw forward, which moves the tongue forward with surrounding soft tissues. The airway in the throat is kept open during sleep for healthy breathing without snoring and breathing interruptions. However, sufficient teeth must be available for such a splint on which the splint can be placed. "Eight to ten fixed teeth per jaw are the minimum: although teeth with crowns are also possible," reports "ZahnRat".
Tips against snoring
The state dental associations also provide basic tips against snoring in their patient magazine. In the first place, it is important to lose excess weight. Because fat accumulates even in the throat area and thus narrows the breathing diameter. In addition, those affected should not drink alcohol and do not use sleeping pills in the last three to four hours before going to bed, as their relaxing effect relaxes the muscles, reports ZahnRat. When sleeping, the side or prone position should be preferred, since the supine position often leads to snoring. Consistent, fixed sleep times could also help against snoring. In children, orthodontic treatment may also be appropriate, in which any dental and skull anomalies in childhood that may cause sleep-related breathing disorders can be remedied. According to "ZahnRat", for example, a high, narrow palate can be widened or a lower jaw can be developed forward. (fp)