Treating Snoring

Snoring without OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) can be treated in several ways. Medical factors may affect treatment, so it is important to speak with a physician.

 
Behavioral Therapy
Because excess weight can cause or worsen snoring, weight loss can decrease the severity of snoring or apnea. Weight loss alone may help some, but not all people with snoring.
 
Avoiding alcohol, drugs, muscle relaxers and tobacco products can also help reduce or eliminate the presence of snoring.
 
Positional Therapy
Positional therapy involves side-sleeping instead of sleeping on one’s back. This shift keeps the weight of a person’s neck from collapsing on his or her airway. It may help some, but not all people.
 
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliances are worn in the mouth to treat snoring and OSA. These devices are similar to sports mouth guards but are fitted by dentists trained in dental sleep medicine.
 
Oral appliance therapy (OAT) involves the selection, design, fitting and follow-up care of a custom-made oral appliance that is worn during sleep. This appliance maintains an opened, unobstructed airway by re-positioning the lower jaw and tongue forward. It also stabilizes the lower jaw and tongue, increasing the tongue’s muscle tone.
 
Many appliances have been FDA-approved for the treatment of snoring and/or sleep apnea. Dentists trained in this therapy are familiar with the various designs of appliances. They know which appliance will work best for each patient’s specific needs. They can also adjust the appliances to avoid side effects, such as jaw or teeth pain.
 
Surgical Procedures
Dentists who are oral and maxillofacial surgeons may use a variety of methods to treat upper airway obstruction. These specialists can treat snoring using minimally invasive procedures as well as more complex surgery. Additionally, an Ear Nose and Throat specialist may remove any excess tissue in the throat. It may be necessary to remove tonsils and adenoids (especially in children), the uvula, or even parts of the soft palate and the throat.