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stop snoring

Oct 23,2016

Snoring is due to vibration of the ‘soft palate’ (the flap of tissue at the back of your mouth). It is caused by air passing either side of this flap when the mouth is open, rather like a flag waving from side to side. Obviously it will not flap if you breathe through your nose only but many people find this difficult especially at night because their nose blocks. The snoring sound is unpleasant for others and many partners are unable to sleep in the same bed. Naturally this is the cause of many matrimonial problems.

The main reason for snoring, is sleeping on the back, because the jaw drops down and the tongue falls to the back of the mouth. This is often coupled with being overweight which makes it difficult to sleep on the side. The best self-cure is to lose weight and learn to sleep on your side with one leg drawn up. If this is difficult try sewing a tennis ball between the shoulders at the back of your night wear.

The most common medical cure is either to cut a slice out of the ‘soft palate’ to reduce the vibration, or to wear a night brace to hold your jaw forward. Severe cases may need to wear a mask to provide additional oxygen, but this is very inconvenient and many patients give it up. Night Braces have an unfortunate side effect. Initially they make breathing easier but after a while they pull the upper jaw back which was part of the initial problem, so that the patient actually gets worse in the long run.

Because of this we strongly disapprove of these Night Braces and treat patients with Orthotropics, first widening their upper jaw and nose slightly to improve their breathing and then giving them an appliance which trains them to keep their mouth closed. This is hard work but it approaches the basic cause and so can permanently cure the problem.

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