Snoring as a Warning Sign

Snoring as a Warning Sign

Snoring is a big problem for many sleepers, and an even bigger problem for their sleeping partners. However snoring can be a sign for an even bigger problem, OSA. OSA stands for obstructive sleep apnea, a breathing disorder that occurs during sleep due to the narrowing and or total closure of the airway.

When you fall asleep your muscles relax, including those that control your tongue and throat. Soft tissues at the back of your throat sag, and can cause a narrowing in the airway. Not only does this cause blocked airway cause a loud and disturbing snore noise, but it significantly affects your general health by the lack of oxygen entering your body.

When your brain detects a lack of oxygen, it prompts a momentary arousal of sleep to draw breath. That is why many patients suffering from OSA wake up feeling tired and unrested. Other long term consequences of sleep apnea are diabetes, heart disease, stroke, depression, and death. A frightening 40 – 80% of stoke sufferers also suffer from OSA. Patients of OSA are also four times more likely to have a heart attack.

A surprising 1 in every 5 people are affected by OSA, and an even more shocking 90% of those patients go undiagnosed.

How can this problem be solved?

Signal Hill Dental Centre offers an OSA solution with the Somnomed appliances. These are custom fitted pieces to wear during sleep that position the lower jaw forward, and mechanically splint the airway open. Your dentist at Signal Hill Dental Centre will custom fit these piece specifically for you. Unlike similar products such as the boil-and-bite appliances, these ensure that you maintain a safe bite instead of potentially reinforcing an improper and damaging bite. Additionally the Somnomed appliances are two adjustable pieces jointed together, so you are still able to open your mouth while wearing the device.


Snoring is one of the most noticeable factors to Obstructive Sleep Apnea, although now you can understand that snoring is just the tip of the iceberg. Feel free to contact the team at Signal Hill Dental Centre if you have any questions or just want to find out more information about OSA and the Somnomed appliances.