A condition that affects over 40% of the population, the real sufferers of snoring are often not those performing the act, but their bed partners instead. With the noise created ranging from 50-100 decibels - the equivalent of a pneumatic drill, it is no wonder that some bed partners report as little as 3 hours of sleep a night.
Stuck in a cycle of continuously waking each other up throughout the night, the lack of sleep caused by snoring can have a numerous & wide-reaching side effects on both the snorer and their bed partner, including:
- Lack of concentration
- Reduced libido
- Diminished energy & daytime sleepiness
- Increased risk of stress & depression
Worse still, many snorers continue as they are - without seeking any medical advice for their condition. Others may choose to contact their GP for advice, where certain lifestyle changes may be suggested, including: weight loss, different sleep positions, staying well hydrated and avoiding alcohol.
While these changes will likely have a positive impact and should be encouraged, many people are unaware that their dentists can provide them with clinically proven solutions to snoring. Devices such as Mandibular Advancement Splints, prescribed by a dentist, have been proven to have a significant impact on reducing the signs of snoring.
What is a Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS)?
Before getting into the definition of a MAS, it is first important to understand what causes snoring. When we fall asleep, our muscles relax. Caused by the partial obstruction of the airway, snoring is the result of the lower jaw dropping back in sleep due to the relaxation of the neck muscles. The reduced airflow then causes the soft tissues of the throat to vibrate, causing the familiar snoring sound.
In order to prevent the airway from becoming obstructed, the lower jaw must be prevented from dropping back. This is the main function of a Mandibular Advancement Splint, which works by holding the lower jaw (mandible) in a forward position, removing the chance of the jaw retruding in sleep.
There are a number of MAS devices available, from ineffective 'over the counter' products - to clinically proven appliances from a dental professional. The most clinically proven MAS devices for the treatment of snoring is the Sleepwell.
What is a Sleepwell?
The Sleepwell is a two-piece device, worn on both dental arches, that consists of a hook mechanism on the upper jaw and a hold mechanism on the lower. This in turn stops the snoring from occuring, as the lower jaw cannot drop back and obstruct the airway. High levels of patient comfort meant that during clinical trials, over 98% of patients found the device acceptable.
Where to for treatment?
There are a number of medically trained dentists throughout the UK who offer snoring treatment using the Sleepwell. To find dentists close to you, please use our Find a Provider search and enter your postcode. As treatment for snoring is a private option, it may be that your current dentist does not feature on our search, or offer treatment. This is okay and you are still able to seek treatment with one of the providers listed.