Oral appliances save relationships where a partner snores

In a recent survey more than a quarter of Americans recently confessed that a snoring bed partner makes them annoyed or angry and the figures for the UK are no different.

Couple Relaxing Together In Bed

According to a survey conducted on behalf of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) one in five people who were interviewed also stated that a snoring partner could easily drive them out of their bed as they so always needed a good night’s sleep.

People who snore frequently may find their intimate nights interrupted and their relationship as a whole at risk. Forty per cent of women claimed that snoring in the opposite sex is a turn-off, and nearly one in 10 adults admitted that snoring had hurt at least one of their romantic relationships.

It’s not limited to older age groups either. The demographic group aged from 35 – 44 reported the highest incidence of having sleep problems due to a snoring partner:

  • 43 % claimed their partner ruined their night’s sleep
  • 35% said it really annoyed them and made them irritable
  • 24% said they slept, or wished to sleep in separate rooms

Kathleen Bennett, AADSM president, made the following comment in a press release that accompanied the research findings. “Because it can be highly embarrassing, snoring can often be the elephant in the room when it comes to addressing relationship frustrations and health concerns.”

spouses of untreated sleep apnea sufferers. The AADSM is attempting to build awareness for oral appliance therapy (OAT) as an effective snoring and sleep apnea treatment option.  They wish to educate thousands of consumers about sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment, positioning the field of dental sleep medicine for more growth opportunities as patients seek out more information about sleep apnea and OAT.

In addition to causing couples to sleep apart, 45% of women said they worry about the health of their bed partner when they snore.

Snoring is a tell-tale sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a life-threatening condition that causes sufferers to stop breathing during sleep for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase the risk for serious health problems ranging from congestive heart failure, high blood pressure and heart disease to diabetes, depression and impotence.

Using a continuous positive airway pressure machine, which includes a constantly running motor, tubing and a facemask, has traditionally treated sleep apnea. It is hard to adjust to and sleep with, but it is now more often recommended that milder cases of sleep apnea are treated with OAT – oral appliance therapy.

OAT uses a small mouthpiece device worn only during sleep to maintain an open, unobstructed airway, which the AADSM says makes it a “sexier” treatment than a CPAP mask. Those women surveyed were twice as likely to prefer OAT to CPAP for a bed partner. Custom-made oral appliance devices prevent the airway from collapsing by supporting the jaw in a forward position. OAT is a proven, effective OSA treatment, and the devices also come with the perks of being silent, portable and simple to care for.

By using a device that is less cumbersome and more discreet, it is preferred both by the snorer and their partner, with many couples claiming that oral appliance therapy saved their marriage by giving the snorer more energy and better health, and allowing them both to sleep better and remain in a shared bed.

John Redfern