We don’t really think too much about what is healthy breathing, but doctors and dentists use the sound of noisy breathing to help us hear whether you might have obstructive sleep apnoea, otherwise known as OSA. At best, the light and restless sleep so often associated with snoring can suspend normal dreaming, change mood, and affect daytime alertness.
At worse, snoring can precede repeated episodes of complete airway blockage, up to 60 times an hour causing catastrophically low oxygen levels, high blood pressure, and irreversible effects on blood vessels that supply your heart, brain and major organs.
If innocent snoring continues to develop into OSA, your life span will be dramatically reduced. And even if you go on a CPAP machine to help you stop bad breathing, nothing reverses your already thickened arteries.
As doctors, we often see that snorers can be overweight or even obese. But confusingly, a lot of snorers are thin too. We are quick to blame obesity, but losing weight is hard for most of us, especially if our energy levels are already low from poor sleep and chronic fatigue.
What dentists know, is that we can pull a collapsing tongue forward to help with breathing at night by using snoring splints to push the jaw forwards.
But dentists also see that these people have often had a history of wisdom teeth impactions, or crowded teeth, or of bad bites as adolescents or children. And if they look hard at their adult patients, they all seem to have the same relatively small jaws they had as kids.
Is it possible that these same small jaws that caused dental crowding and impacted teeth and bad bites and tonsil removal as kids and adolescents... are now the same small jaws causing snoring and OSA and uncontrollable weight gain as older adults?
Doctors are now realising that consistent observation is probably the major over-riding cause of OSA today.
If you have developed OSA or are a heavy snorer, poor sleeper, chronically tired, grind your teeth at night, a poor runner or even have a poor neck posture when you are awake, ask yourself this fundamental question…
Do I have a small jaw?
Unlike the band-aid of CPAP, there is a permanent cure for both the snoring and bad breathing associated with small jaws.
It is called IMDO.
If you feel that you want to explore what IMDO is or how doctors can assess the size of your jaws, the function of your airways and the interlink of bad bites and crowded teeth to the phenomenon of snoring, then talk to your family doctor or dentist today.
Find out more about IMDO and how it can help you in our page about IMDO Jaw Surgery.