How your dentist can help with snoring

Most of us will snore at some point in our lives. Occasional snoring can be harmless, but chronic snoring may have a significant impact on our health and wellbeing – and our bed partners’ too! It can also be a symptom of a more serious condition, obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) – estimated to affect 1.5 million people in the UK.* To support National Stop Snoring Week this year, we spoke to one of our dentists, Caroline Hemington, who talks us through snoring and sleep apnoea – and how PortmanDentex dentists are perfectly placed to help with a life-changing solution.

      The difference between snoring and OSA

      Snoring happens when the muscles that keep your airways open (in your nose, mouth and throat) relax when you sleep, causing your airways to narrow. As air passes through, the surrounding tissues vibrate. You’re more likely to snore if you’re male, aged between 40 and 64 years, and overweight. Drinking alcohol, before going to sleep, can make worse – as it relaxes the airways.

      Snoring can also be a sign of OSA. OSA is when the airways in your throat restrict or completely collapse while you're sleeping. This can mean your breathing will stop for a short time, then start again with a sudden gasp – leading to very disturbed sleep. You probably won’t have any memory of it happening, but are likely to feel extremely tired the next day.  

      Both snoring and OSA can have a serious impact on both the sufferer and their partner, causing daytime sleepiness and increased stress levels. OSA has been found to contribute to more serious health conditions such as increased mental health issues, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

          Bespoke snoring and OSA treatment

          Snoring treatment isn’t necessarily something you’d associate with a dentist, and often patients will go straight to their GP without knowing we’re equipped to help. Even if a GP diagnoses OSA they will generally refer you to a hospital for further assessment. At PortmanDentex we’re able to directly provide a solution that can resolve the symptoms of snoring and OSA. 

            Anti-snoring appliances

            Our anti-snoring appliances (sometimes referred to as a mandibular advancement appliance) help to keep the airways open when you sleep, by opening the back of your throat and preventing the lower jaw from dropping back. It’s custom-made to fit the shape and size of your mouth, and sits over your teeth like a gum shield. This type of appliance has been found to be effective for snoring, and mild to moderate OSA too. There are snoring appliances available to buy online, but as they’re a ‘one-size-fits-all’ they’re unlikely to be as effective and comfortable.

                How our dentists can help with snoring and OSA

                If your snoring is getting you down and those around you – mention it to your dentist at your next dental health check-up, or book an appointment with a PortmanDentex practice. During your appointment, your dentist will ask you some questions about your snoring and they’ll also examine your mouth. Our dentists can’t diagnose OSA, but they’re able to spot the signs (screening) of mild to moderate cases and will signpost you to your GP if they suspect you have a more serious form of OSA that needs further investigation.

                Making your bespoke mandibular advancement appliance is a simple process which usually takes around one to three weeks in total (not including follow-up appointments) and usually requires just two or three visits to your dentist.

                    If you’d like to speak to one of our dentists about snoring or OSA treatment, visit: to find your local practice.

                    For more information about snoring and OSA visit:

                    *YouGov Sleep Study 2022


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