Introduction to Snore Guard
How many times have we laughed at scenes in movies where somebody who’s snoring so loudly that people in the same room or house can’t get to sleep? But the truth is, loud snoring is no laughing matter. It is one of the major symptoms of sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder.
To put it simply, snoring occurs when the uvula and soft palate are relaxed. When these tissues relax enough to partially block the airway, the airflow is obstructed, resulting in vibrations.
This results in the typical snoring sound.
Causes of snoring
There are many causes of snoring, from congenital to acquired. Snorers often suffer from weak throats, causing the muscles to close during sleep. They may also suffer from a mispositioned jaw, caused by tension in the throat and jaw muscles. Obese snorers often suffer from the accumulation of fat in and around the throat. Apart from these issues, snoring can be caused by obstructions in the nasal passageway, obstructive sleep apnea, or even sleep deprivation.
Relaxants like alcohol or drugs relax throat muscles, sometimes giving rise to temporary bouts of snoring. For some people, sleeping positions are at fault, since people who sleep on their backs may have their tongue drop to the back of the throat.
Effects of snoring
One of the major effects of snoring is sleep deprivation, both of the snorer and the people in the surrounding area. It also causes a significant amount of daytime drowsiness, irritability, lack of focus and reduced libido. Multiple studies have revealed that snorers are at increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Snoring, however, is a major symptom of a condition called sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which the sufferer stops breathing or breathes shallowly during the night. While the breath only pauses for a short while, ranging between a few seconds and a few minutes, it happens many times a night. Snoring is the most common symptom of this pause in the breath. There is usually a choking or snorting sound as the flow of breath resumes. Since normal sleep is disrupted, sufferers often experience sleepiness or tiredness during the day, and in children, sleep apnea can cause hyperactivity.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three forms of sleep apnea, namely Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Central Sleep Apnea and Mixed Sleep Apnea. Of these, Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common type, affecting close to 40% of the population. Snoring is a major symptom of OSA sufferers.
When adults suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, one of the major symptoms is excessive daytime sleepiness. Usually, adults with severe obstructive sleep apnea tend to fall asleep for short periods during normal daytime activities especially if they are allowed to sit or rest. These short periods of sleep, called microsleeps, happen very frequently and may even occur during conversations with others or at social gatherings. Due to the breathing problems caused by obstructive sleep apnea, patients may suffer from a condition called hypoxia or a lack of oxygen supply. This can cause the atrophy of the hippocampus and right frontal cortex. This can result in major issues with memory. Diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea is easier for people in relationships since they are alerted by their sleeping partners. People suffering from obstructive sleep apnea are often unaware of their own condition.
Children can also suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Although the symptom of hypersomnolence or excessive sleepiness appears in children sometimes, it is not very common. Instead, toddlers and young children with obstructive sleep apnea behave in a hyperactive manner. They also exhibit a failure to thrive in which they appear thin or their growth is reduced. This poor growth happens for two reasons. Simply breathing is difficult enough that calories are burnt at a very high rate and the nose and throat are so severely obstructed that eating is uncomfortable as well as tasteless and odorless. However, obstructive sleep apnea in children is usually caused by obstructive tonsils or adenoids and can be cured by a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. If the problem is excessive weight, then the children may suffer from the same symptoms as adults, namely, restlessness and exhaustion etcetera.
Currently, oral appliances are being used as a noninvasive method to treat mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Oral appliances are a frontline treatment for obstructive sleep apnea as they stop the tongue and soft palate tissues from closing the Airway. These appliances keep the Airway open and improve air intake. Due to their ease of use, oral appliances can be used by themselves or in conjunction with other treatments like weight management or surgery.
Snore Guard Benefits
There are many products that can be used to treat snoring. However most of the time, Lifestyle changes are recommended by Doctors to ease the symptoms. Snorers are recommended to lose weight, reduce alcohol consumption or switch to medications that are less sedating. In case of major obstructions in the airflow passages, surgery can be used as a last resort. Sleeping on the side can also help, however, it is not possible to maintain the same position all night long. Over the counter, medical products can also be used, which can ease sleep. Products like nasal strips or nasal dilators improve the air flow through the nose but often don’t counteract the obstructions in the throat which is where the vibrations occur. Change gear and head wraps are used to reposition the head neck and jaw to clear the Airway. Sleeping at a 30-degree angle has also proven beneficial in a large number of cases.
However, one of the most helpful devices used to stop snoring and improve sleep quality has been the intraoral mandibular repositioning device. This particular device, sold under the brand name Snore Guard, has proven to be very useful to a large number of people.
Intraoral means inside the mouth. Therefore an intraoral repositioning snoring device is placed in the mouth to hold the lower jaw forward and keep the tongue and soft palate separate. This keeps the airway open during sleep. It also prevents the vibrations that cause snoring. To create this effect, Snore Guard was developed. Snore Guard is a patented one-piece design that allows users to create a custom mold of their teeth and create a perfect fit. Since there are no moving parts, the chances of the device breaking down are very low and the custom fitting process ensures that there is no discomfort while using it. The patented airflow Technology allows users to breathe normally through their mouth. There is a short adjustment period of a few days, in which users may suffer from a small amount of tooth jaw or gum pain.
Conclusion on Snore Guard
Overall, Snore Guard has proven to significantly improve the sleep quality of the users. The users have also reported a return of symptoms when not in use. 99% of the users reported that their snoring had reduced and 50% reported that their snoring had been completely eliminated. When combined with treatment, 80% of users reported decreased sleep disturbance. Snore guard has been shown to improve sleep quality and sleepiness in most of the people who use it.
Any dentist may fit a Snore Guard. Since it involves making a custom mold of your mouth, your dentist is the perfect person to ask.
Due to its durable plastic nature, Snore Guard does not need to be replaced very often. It can be used for up to 2 years with minor maintenance. Given all these benefits, it is safe to say that Snore Guard is an excellent solution for people who suffer from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.