Studies have shown that approximately 40% of the population of the industrialised countries snore and that this increases to 60% in men above the age of 60.
Most of the noises produced by snoring are generated by vibration of areas of the soft tissues. During sleep, there is a natural relaxation of the muscle tone in the neck and pharynx and the normal firmness of the tissues decreases, resulting in the formation of bottlenecks or even complete obstruction of the airways, especially when the patient lies on their back. Due to this narrowing of the pharyngeal space, the required volume of air must be respired at a higher velocity to deliver the same quantity of air. This results in stimulation and vibration of soft tissues, such as the velum palatinum (soft palate) and the uvulum.
The Silensor uses a pair of clear plastic moulding, shaped to fit you teeth, which you slip into your mouth at bedtime. The top and bottom sections are connected at the sides by short plastic links, which have the effect of pulling your lower jaw slightly forward. This in turn holds the airways open, reducing the constriction that causes the snoring.
Please book an appointment with your dentist at Westview Dental Practice to discuss your suitability for the Silensor anti-snoring device.
Frequently asked questions about The Silensor
What causes snoring?
When the throat muscles relax in sleep, they are less effective in holding your breathing passages open. The soft sides of the airway tend to close in, and the air has to move faster through a smaller space. This causes vibrations of the soft tissues which generate the noise of snoring. It has also been shown that excess body weight, heavy alcohol consumption and other sedatives or sleeping on your back can increase the severity of snoring.
Every person that suffers from sleep apnoea snores, but not everyone who snores suffers from sleep apnoea. If you have been heard to gasp for breath or have sudden spells of drowsiness during the day then you should ask your doctor to refer you to a sleep disorder clinic for further investigation.
How comfortable is it?
At first, you may experience some stiffness in your jaw when you wake up, but this soon wears off.
What if I wear false teeth?
Unfortunately, if you have no teeth the Silensor cannot be fitted. If you have a denture which only replaces some teeth, a Silensor may work: ask your dentist for advice.
How effective is the Silensor?
The Silensor has proven highly successful even when breathing through the nose is difficult or blocked, since in almost all cases the noise involved in snoring is caused by constriction of the airways. Similarly, when breathing through the nose is difficult or impossible, e.g. by polyps, use of the Silensor is in no way precluded.
What are all the available methods of treatment for snoring?
These devices are worn at night and usually operate by displacing the lower jaw forward in an anterior direction in order to achieve the opening of the pharyngeal section of the airways. Acceptance rates can be as low as 2% but as long as the patient tolerates their use, these devices can be expected to be quite successful in curing the social problem that apnoea poses as well as obstructive sleep apnoea of up to moderate severity. The main reason for patient rejection of these appliances is because of their bulk.
The breathing mask is used for positive air pressure respiration, keeping the airways open. The masks are effective even in severe apnoea cases and are considered the method of choice in these cases. However, the breathing mask must be set up and adjusted in the sleep laboratory. It is a vital piece of equipment although at times may prove inconvenient.
Usually surgery is used to remove respiration-impairing structures, such as enlarged tonsils, adenoids etc. Widely differing success rates of surgery in treating snoring have been reported (20-40%). Success in terms of the cure of apnoea is unsatisfactory.
The Silensor is one of the oral appliances which can be worn at night. Its biggest advantage being that it is non-bulky. The success of the treatment is largely dependent on the patient’s acceptance of the appliance. Obviously, the depth of sleep and comfort of the patient will increase with the reduction in bulk of the appliance.
The Silensor consists of two separate formings which fit over the upper and lower tooth arches. The formings are connected by two lateral rotating connectors which gently pull the lower jaw forward. Any further opening of the mouth increase the anterior displacement of the lower jaw. The SILENSOR makes use of the fact that the pharyngeal space is enlarged when the lower jaw is displaced in an anterior direction. Despite wearing the SILENSOR, movement of the lower jaw is possible. Because the SILENSOR is of minimum bulk it is comfortable and an effective anti-snoring aid.