Sometimes, it’s possible to reduce or eliminate snoring through lifestyle and behavior changes. Some of the most common self-help remedies include:
- Sleeping on your side rather than your back
- Refraining from drinking caffeine or alcohol before bedtime
- Forgoing sleep medications or other muscle relaxants
- Avoiding large, fatty meals in the evening
- Loosing weight ( People who are carrying extra weight may also be able to reduce their snoring by loosing at least ten percent of their total weight.)
Nasal sprays and adhesive strips worn across the bridge of the nose may help alleviate snoring conditions that are the result of nasal conditions, but they will not address snoring caused by constrictions of the airway caused by physical conditions such as excessive soft tissue.
Surgery is sometimes considered as an option for mitigating or eliminating snoring. Among the methods used are:
- Traditional surgery to reduce the size of soft tissues
- Saline injections to firm up soft tissues
- Laser surgery to trim or tighten tissues
Surgery may provide relief from snoring, but some long-term studies indicate that the benefits of surgery decrease over time in many cases. Another concern with surgical treatment for snoring is the fact that, while it may alleviate snoring, it has not proven effective for relieving sleep apnea. Because snoring is one symptom of sleep apnea, removing the symptom may cause an underlying sleep apnea condition to go unrecognized.
If self-help strategies aren’t working, and surgery is not a physically or financially desirable option, dental sleep medicine can help through the use of oral appliances.
- Oral appliances help keep the airway open to promote easy breathing and reduce or eliminate loud and persistent snoring
- These devices usually resemble sports mouth guards
- Fitting and use does not require invasive procedures or additional bedside devices
- Custom-fitted to the user to ensure maximum comfort and effectiveness
A number of generic oral appliances are available from sources such as the Internet. In general, these devices are less effective than the custom-fitted and personally-adjusted oral appliance provided by a dental sleep professional such as Dr. Goldbereg. And, because they may not match a particular individual’s mouth structure, generic oral appliances may create bite problems.