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Q: My spouse snores and keeps me up all night. I've heard that a dentist might be able to prescribe an appliance that prevents snoring. Can you help with this problem?
A: Snoring can be caused by a number of factors, so we encourage you to have your spouse come in for a consultation and analysis to determine the cause. In some cases, a person may actually stop breathing for short periods during the night, a condition called sleep apnea. In other cases, snoring can be caused by enlarged anatomical structures within the mouth and throat. During sleep, the throat area relaxes, allowing these structures to collapse against one another and obstruct clear airflow. In the latter situation, we can prescribe and fit a special appliance called a snore-guard, which gently holds the mouth and throat in an open position during relaxed sleep and thus prevents snoring.