Night time snoring is not only annoying, but it may also be indicative of a far more serious problem. “Sleep apnea” is a common sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing, snorting and choking noises, and instances of shallow breathing. “Obstructive” sleep apnea occurs when muscles at the back of the throat (which support the soft palate, the uvula, the tonsils, the side walls of the throat, and the tongue) relax to the point where the airway narrows/closes when breathing in. To treat this form of sleep apnea, the dentist can make a “mandibular advancement device,” which works by moving the jaw forward and increasing the size of the airway, thereby reducing the air resistance that causes snoring and sleep apnea.
P.S. Recent research suggests that mandibular advancement devices are effective at reducing blood pressure in patients with hypertension.