How many nights of sleep did you lose because of snoring? Quite a lot, we’re sure. Snoring is an ordinary night issue that constantly disturbs your and your family’s peace of mind. On average, approx. 45% of Americans sometimes snore, and 25% have turned snoring into something regular. Out of all snorers, the men take the snore crown compared to women. Let’s face it; we’ve all sometimes been guilty of snoring, whether we like it or not.
What does snoring translate into? Lack of sleep, decrease in well-being, even marital issues ending up in divorce, as some studies suggest. And it’s not just your well-being that’s being affected; severe medical conditions arise from this struggle for breath. In severe cases, the soft tissues and the tongue can completely block the airway space, causing a short asphyxiation period. If this period oversteps ten seconds, then you’re suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA, a medical condition that, if left untreated, can plague your health and well-being in numerous ways.
Here at Loudoun Orthodontics, our medical team can quickly bring relief to sleep apnea with the appropriate tools. Our medical arsenal contains a simple device that works wonders on patients whose snore keeps the whole family awake: the snore guard! No longer will snoring affect your family’s well-being; with a snore guard, you will finally put your sleeping patterns in order and finally wake up fully rested and filled with energy for the next day.
In this article, we’re going to discuss how a snore guard alleviates sleep apnea symptoms and how this device differs from other dental appliances, such as night guards.
Table of Contents
Explaining the Causes of Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Akin to humans, who brush their teeth or take a bath before sleep, the human body has its own evening routine (e.g., the body temperature drops). As you gently fall asleep, the muscles and soft tissue positioned in the mouth and throat relax, narrowing the airway. In turn, a narrow airway increases the airflow velocity while breathing, causing soft tissues such as the uvula and the soft palate to vibrate. This vibration of the tissue is what we experience nightly as snoring.
“Let him snore away; he’s tired!” – You’ve probably heard these words about your father whenever he was snoring like a freight train. That is acceptable since people affected by fatigue will descend deeper into their sleep and, consequently, their muscles and soft tissues will relax even more. However, snoring can become dangerous to your general health, especially if it translates into obstructive sleep apnea.
The most typical symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Loud snoring
- Choking or gasping sensation
- Sore or dry throat in the morning
- Constant fatigue
- Restlessness during sleep
Preventing Snoring and Sleep Apnea with a Snore Guard
The primary approaches when dealing with snoring are using earplugs, sleeping in another room, or, in extreme cases, disturbing the snorer’s sleep. However, these are only temporary solutions since they do not address the root of the problem; the snoring will persist, and both your well-being and patience will take serious hits.
You need a tangible, long-term solution that doesn’t require anything from the people around you. Fortunately, the field of dentistry came up with an anti-snoring device, the snore guard, which addresses this issue quickly and straightforwardly. Depending on the type, your snore guard will either hold your lower jaw forward in relation to the upper jaw or force your tongue in a downward position, amounting to uninhibited oral breathing. Both you and your family will rejoice, as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea will ameliorate thanks to this device!
Snore guards are custom-fitted appliances whose sole purpose is to ensure a peaceful sleep for you and your family. As such, maximum comfort is a rule of thumb for these devices. Make sure that you contact your dentist to have your snore guard readjusted for maximum effectiveness.
Differences between a Night Guard and a Snore Guard
Medical terminology can frequently confuse patients, leaving them at a loss concerning dental devices or procedures. Snore guards are no strangers to this category since we can easily mistake them for night guards, another dental device that we use at nighttime. However, the similarities between the two devices end here.
The main difference between snore and night guards lies in their purpose. While the former addresses oral breathing obstruction and the loud vibration of the mouth and throat tissues, the latter deals with bruxism, the unintentional habit of clenching grinding one’s teeth while sleeping, mainly due to stress or anxiety. As such, if you currently use a night guard to treat the latter medical condition, you must know that the night guard will not treat your snoring or obstructive sleep apnea as well. Ensure that you consult yourself with a dentist if you intend to add a snore guard to your dental device list.
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Achieve More Restful Sleep with a Snore Guard
Contact Loudoun Orthodontics if you think snore guards are the solution to your obstructive sleep apnea. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of snore guards or have questions about the process, use our live chat or call (703) 858-0303 or send us a message through our contact us page to connect with our friendly staff today to book a complimentary orthodontic consultation! Our office, located at 19465 Deerfield Ave, Suite 304, Leesburg, VA 20176, proudly serves not just Loudoun County but also the Greater Washington DC area. So, if you’re residing in Ashburn, Lansdowne, or Sterling, and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in Virginia, don’t hesitate to visit our office! We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to become a part of our smiling community!