Snoring occurs when air travels faster through a narrow tube than through a broad one. This rapidly moving air causes the relaxed soft tissues of the throat to vibrate. It is this vibration that creates the sound of snoring.
This narrowing of the upper airway can be due to large tonsils, a long uvula (the small piece of soft tissue that dangles from the soft palate over the back of the tongue) or excessive flabby tissue in the throat. In other cases, nasal congestion from allergies or deformities of the cartilage between the two sides of the nose can contribute to narrowing of the airway.
However, the most common cause of narrowing of the upper airway is a tongue muscle that becomes too relaxed during sleep. When relaxed, the muscle is sucked into the back of the throat with each breath taken.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) occurs when the airway completely collapses, blocking airflow into the lungs. The Sleep Apnea Cycle - falling asleep, jaw relaxing, airway collapsing, unconsciously awakening with a gasp, falling back asleep - can repeat itself 50 or more times per hour during the night.
By keeping the airway open, air travels more slowly, reducing throat vibrations and thus reducing or stopping snoring. One of the most effective ways to keep the airway open during sleep is by holding the tongue forward.
An easy-to-use product to accomplish this is the aveoTSD®
(Tongue Stabilizing Device), a simple, low-cost treatment for problem snoring. The aveoTSD gently suctions onto the tongue, preventing it from falling back into the throat and obstructing the airway.
The Silent Nite® sl
positions the lower jaw forward using special S-shaped connectors that are attached to upper and lower splints. This affordable device is flexible, thin and comfortable, and it exhibits documented clinical success in mitigating or even preventing the disruptive, unhealthy effects of snoring and sleep apnea.
Products available to combat snoring and OSA include the TAP®
(Thornton Adjustable Positioner) or TAP 3 TL device, and the EMA®
(Elastic Mandibular Advancement) oral appliance, which are all designed to keep the airway open and allow for air to pass.