Snoring Help

Snoring Help
Shirley Gutkowski, RDH, BSDH, OMT


Bringing families together used to mean something completely different than it does today. Because of snoring, family members are being shunned. Imagine your spouse sleeping in the converted garage, or the expense of adding a room onto the house for one or the other to sleep in because of snoring. Sleep is so important that family members who’s sleep, is disrupted by a snoring family member can’t help but make the snorer pay.


The truth, that the snorer isn’t getting any sleep either, is buried. Practicing as a dental hygienist I see about three patients a day who I know snore before they tell me. Their health history is the first tip off. Things like high blood pressure and Type
II diabetes make me wonder. Then when I do the oral cancer screening and see a large uvula, I ask: Do you snore? And the answer is almost always some form of yes.


There are many ways that sleep may be disordered. Snoring, sleep apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) all interfere with sleep. They contribute to more than sleepiness. Along with the mentioned problems, sleep disordered breathing in children contributes to ADD, ADHD, and asthma symptoms.


Help is not a prescription away. The healthcare system built today focuses on treating symptoms and not even bothering looking for the reason for the problem. Turns out there’s an entire field of study called myofunctional therapy (OMT) that helps people with these sleep disorders. Measurements around the neck have shown a decrease of an inch or more in people learning the techniques of OMT, the apnea hypopnea index reduces to half for adults and over 60% in children.


You can find a number of the techniques on YouTube. But like most things having a coach or someone to guide you through the experience is infinitely better. None of the studies measured results of people who spontaneously found internet resources and practiced them for any time at all.

We know that sleep is important, we know that snoring interrupts the sleep of the person snoring and anyone nearby. This lack of sleep can bring up obvious symptoms like tiredness, and not so obvious symptoms like bedwetting and inflammation that contributes to joint pain. We also know that athletes perform better when they sleep quietly. Getting to the bottom of these issues can be easy with the right coach to teach myofunctional (that refers to muscle function) techniques that can last a lifetime.


Shirley Gutkowski is the principle practitioner at Primal Air, LLC and treats children and adults. Call us at 608.318.2800

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