Snoring may be a sign of a serious medical condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA. This condition is caused by repeated partial or complete collapse of the airway between the back of your nose and the voice box that can cause a cyclical drop of the amount of oxygen in your blood. It is estimated to occur in 24% of men and 9% of women. Daytime symptoms may include sleepiness, reduced ability to concentrate, and reduced quality of life. OSA is also associated with increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality.
One solution that many people find comfortable and convenient is a device that holds the lower jaw in a slightly protruded position while sleeping. This reduces the collapsibility of the airway, and improves health outcomes and quality of life. These devices need to be custom made by a dentist familiar with how to treat OSA.
Dental devices are a medically proven treatment option for many patients with snoring or OSA, but may not be appropriate for all patients.