Treatment of snoring

Snoring is a very common problem. You may snore simply because your anatomy has caused you to have a relatively narrow upper airway. This can be because of a set back lower jaw, a large tongue, a long soft palate. You may have developed enlarged tonsils, but most commonly it is one of the consequences of weight gain.

If the snoring has developed over the same period that you have gained weight the solution is clear...lose the weight. If, however, snoring has developed suddenly and there has been no weight gain you should seek medical (or dental) advice. It is extremely rare but snoring can develop as a result of other lumps developing in the throat and nasal passages and sometimes these are tumours that need urgent treatment. I would stress again that this is really rare, but examining the throat is an essential part of any consultation about snoring.

If you have had a sleep study and OSA has been ruled out and weight loss has not resolved the problem then there are other options. As snoring is caused by the airflow becoming turbulent because of a reduced breathing passage, and this turbulence causes the soft palate to vibrate, the options for treatment revolve around either increasing the size of the breathing passage or excising the "floppy" bits of the soft palate and stiffening the soft palate.

Enlarging the upper airway is not as simple as it sounds. The upper airway is a design compromise. We have to breathe and swallow through the same passage. An ideal breathing tube is a semi-rigid tube like the windpipe. An ideal swallowing passage is a collapsible muscular tube. The upper airway is a collapsible muscular tube held open by muscle. If we put some scaffolding in to hold the airway open swallowing would be impossible. 


Mandibular Advancement Splint

Other options