Snoring occurs when the body is relaxed while sleeping, and the soft pallet relaxes onto the airways in the back of the mouth. This constricts the airway and causes a noise when the person breathes. The problem can be disruptive to the health of the person who is snoring and disruptive to the person who may be trying to sleep next to him or her.

While there are a variety of methods to try to stop snoring, Dr. Hinze first recommends trying an anti-snoring mouthpiece or mouth guard. These devices, which are worn only while sleeping, pull the lower jaw forward to make the airway bigger thus stopping the snoring. These mouth guards can be found at local stores or online starting at about $12 and going up to more than $100.

If those devices don’t stop the snoring, Dr. Hinze can order a special custom-made mouthpiece from a lab. These medical devices, the dreamTAP and ClearDream, are effective in helping patients reduce incidents of sleep apnea and eliminate snoring for a good night’s sleep.

If a parent notices a child snoring, it is important to determine the cause. While sometimes the snoring may be caused by a cold or inflammation, other times it indicates a constricted airway. Dr. Hinze can determine if the airway is constricted by taking X-rays, or noticing a cross bite or dark circles under the child’s eyes.

“It is very important that a child’s airway is not left constricted,” Dr. Hinze said. “If a child doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can also affect his or her ability to learn.”

If Dr. Hinze notices a constricted airway in a child, he will refer the patient to a family doctor or an ear, nose and throat specialist.

If you have further questions about snoring or other dental concerns, please call or schedule an appointment with Dr. Hinze today by calling our Holdrege office at (308) 995-5331.