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Welcome to SnorBan® Healthcare - Mandibular advancement device to help you stop snoring

SOS – Stop Our Snoring

John Young has almost always been a noisy snorer. Just ask his wife – or, indeed, his neighbours.

Decibel tests carried out in hospital showed that the noise he was generating as he slept was getting towards the pneumatic drill end of the sound range.

‘It was pretty bad,’ he says. ‘Eventually, I went to see my GP and told her I had to get something done, otherwise there was going to be a divorce!’

Various treatments were suggested, and some, like laser surgery, rejected. But eventually John settled on a £45 wearable mouth device that has at last conquered his loud snoring.

The device works by pushing the lower jaw forward just enough to widen the throat and stop snoring. Tests suggest this kind of jaw advancement device could help the majority of sufferers – perhaps as many as eight out of ten.

Snoring is a result of soft tissue or muscles in the air passages vibrating. During sleep, the muscles in the tongue, throat and roof of the mouth relax, causing the loose tissue in the throat to sag.

Breathing in and out flaps this soft tissue about like sails in the wind, leading to narrowing – or in some cases a complete obstruction – of the airways.

The narrower the airways become, the greater the vibration and the louder the snoring.

In sleep apnoea, there is the added complication that sufferers can stop breathing for periods as long as ten seconds as a result of a complete blockage of the airways. When the brain detects the lack of oxygen, it briefly rouses the snorer to reopen the air passages.

Treatment is important because snoring affects almost half the adult population of the UK at some time, and the incidence increases with age as the throat and other muscles become weaker. It can cause a range of health problems, as well as lead to the loss of a job or the break-up of a relationship.

One of the standard treatments is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), where a face mask is worn by the snorer to pump a steady flow of air into the nose during sleep as a way of keeping the air passages clear and open. Although CPAP can be effective, many people find it difficult to get used to and complicated to use every night.

The jaw advancer, launched by Snoreban Healthcare, is similar to a gum shield and fits over the teeth. The aim of the device is to move the jaw forward to prevent the tongue and mandible (lower jaw) from falling back and blocking the airway.

‘Pulling the jaw forwards opens the airway, which can sometimes be blocked because the jaw is sitting back. Everyone can move their lower jaw forward half an inch or so by simply pushing it forwards. The device does exactly the same thing but holds it in place while you sleep,’ says Joe Hepworth, of Chichester-based Snoreban.

The plastic advancer is put into hot water before it is first used so that it can be moulded into the shape of the individual’s jaw.

When it is warm, it is put over the teeth with the lower teeth pushed forward so they line up with the top set. With the teeth in that position, the wearer bites hard on the device.

Once the advancer has cooled down, it sets into that position, so that when it is used after that, it automatically pulls forward the lower teeth.

Although a dentist can fit the device, most people do it themselves at home. The device comes with a disposable handle to make fitting that much easier.

John Young, 70, his wife Diane, 59, their children and neighbours have not looked back since the day he started using the device.

‘My snoring started a long time ago,’ he says. ‘The children used to laugh when they got home late at night, saying they could hear me out in the road. On many occasions, my wife was so exasperated she couldn’t even sleep in the same bed as me.

After I decided to get some treatment, I went in for tests where they measure the sound you make and how many times you wake up. The microphone recorded 58 decibels. A pneumatic drill is only 82.

‘I went back to my GP and we talked about possible treatments. I didn’t wanted surgery, and we tried a few things, but nothing really worked until they came up with this device.

‘By that point I had tried all the other gadgets – the ones that you stick on the outside, or the inside of your nose, or down the throat. Even though they help you to breathe better, they don’t stop the snoring.

‘This device did take a couple of weeks to get used to. It’s not that it’s difficult; it’s simply that you have to persevere with it. It can be uncomfortable to start with, but it really does work and the effect is instant.

‘What it does is to bring your bottom lip forward and change your bite. You put it in hot water and then put it in your mouth. Instead of biting normally, you push your jaw and bottom teeth forward, so that when you bite they are in front of the top teeth.

‘You then cool it down in cold water so that it sets in that position. Then, when you put it in again, your jaw automatically goes forward when the teeth fit into the mould. The effect of moving the jaw forward is that it widens the throat so that the soft tissue that causes the snoring doesn’t flap any more.

‘The results are fantastic. I can breathe and sleep more easily. It is a bit like a boxer’s gumshield, and I find that each one lasts about six months.

‘It means that our sleep is much better and not interrupted. I used to have bags under my eyes all the time, and if we went out I would fall asleep in minutes if people did not talk to me.

‘It has improved our lives enormously. I can sleep well – and so, too, can my wife.’

by ROGER DOBSON, Daily Mail

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