Dave Gibson



National Stop Snoring Week

Snoring has just been in the news with National stop snoring week helping to promote the role of dentists in helping stop what is a significant sleep issue particularly amongst couples, and loud snoring in particular can be a sign of more serious health problems.

Snorers are in fact three times more likely to suffer health problems than none snorers. Part of this reason is that snorers tend to be overweight, with evening alcohol consumption a factor too as it relaxes the airways to much which then allows the vibration to occur which produces the snoring sound.
Of the estimated 15 million snorers (just over 40% of the population), 2/3rds are men, with snoring increasing the older we get. Snoring is hereditary, 70% or so runs in families, and is claimed to disrupt the sleep of 1/3rd of all couples. Of those who snore, the heavier you get the louder you snore with the sound also increased when you lie on your back.

Apart from disrupting your partner’s sleep, loud snoring can also indicate that your airways are being obstructed. This can result in lower intake of oxygen into your body which in turn can prevent you from getting into a deep sleep. For some this interruption of airflow can result in pauses of breathing call apnoeas. Most apnoea sufferers sleep through these incidents and are unaware of this affect apart from tending not to be fully refreshed by a full night’s sleep. With more severe cases this can result in disrupting sleep, with the inflicted person waking up on numerous occasions through the night with something called Obstructive Sleep Apnoea which needs to be checked by your GP as it can result in long term health issues.

Solutions for snoring are to lose weight, stop drinking at night, to stop smoking, and to lie on your side not your back. Nasal dilators can sometimes help, sprays too, and even mouth shields.For some to change their jaw alignment is needed, and using a mechanical solution such as a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) can help, hence dentists promoting stop snoring week.

However,If you are a loud snorer, check this out with your GP, as it could be a warning sign of a more serious health issue.