Have you ever been startled awake by a sound, only to realize the noise was coming from you? Snoring interrupts not only your sleep but that of those around you. Dr. Mika Miyamoto, DMD, at Moonlight Sleep REMedies, is one of the few dental sleep practitioners in Portland with expertise in oral appliance therapy, laser, and myofunctional therapy to help patients struggling with snoring. Dr. Miyamoto can team up with your primary care provider to make sure we treat the root cause of your snoring.

Why Do You Snore?

Generally speaking, snoring occurs when airflow through your mouth and nose is partially blocked during sleep. During sleep, the muscles in your throat, including the soft palate, uvula, and tongue, relax, which can narrow the airway. When you breathe, the air travels faster through this tighter space, causing the loosened tissues to vibrate against each other. It’s this vibration that produces the sound we recognize as snoring.

Several factors can cause this blockage:

  • The anatomy of your mouth and sinuses (like having a thick palate or enlarged tonsils)
  • Nasal issues (chronic congestion or a deviated septum)
  • Lifestyle elements (being overweight, drinking alcohol, or even sleeping on your back)
  • The noise of snoring can vary from a soft purr to a sound similar to a semi-trailer using its airbrakes. The average noise of snorers is 60 decibels; the speech range is 40 to 60 decibels. If people around you often complain about your snoring, you could reach up to 90 decibels, which could be hazardous to your hearing.

If you only snore occasionally, or if your snoring is not that loud, there is nothing to worry about. But if it seems to be getting worse, it could be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is a condition that can make it hard for you to get the deep, restful sleep your body needs to stay healthy. Not only can your snoring affect your health, but it can also make it hard for your partner to sleep well. This can affect both their health and how well they get along by arresting the OSA and snoring, not only saving your life but also saving your relationship with your partner.

Our Proven Treatments for Snoring

At Moonlight Sleep REMedies, we treat snoring with two effective approaches to target the root causes of snoring but in slightly different ways: oral appliance therapy and NightLase®

Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral appliances are similar to orthodontic retainers and are designed to fit in the mouth and open the airway. The key function of these appliances is to maintain an open, unobstructed airway. They work by gently repositioning your lower jaw slightly downward and forward.

These jaw movements keep the tongue from falling back and blocking the throat during sleep, a common cause of snoring. By ensuring the airway stays open, the appliance reduces the vibrations of soft tissues that result in the sound of snoring.

Many of our patients report that their partners find a decrease in the severity of snoring when these devices are used. Appliances designed by Dr. Miyamoto have helped improve sleepiness, breathing, and blood oxygen in mild to moderate sleep apnea patients.

NightLase® Laser Therapy

NightLase® is a non-invasive laser treatment that enhances the quality of your sleep by reducing snoring and, in some cases, the effects of sleep apnea. The procedure uses laser energy to gently heat the tissues in the back of the throat. This heating process stimulates the collagen fibers, causing them to contract and tighten.

As a result, the airway becomes wider and less likely to collapse or cause vibrations that cause you to snore. NightLase® requires no anesthesia, and there is no downtime. For optimal results, you may need 2-3 (or more) treatment sessions – each about 30 minutes long – spread over several weeks.

Ready to Reclaim Restful Sleep? Schedule Your Consultation Today

At Moonlight Sleep REMedies, each of our treatment options has the same goal: to keep your airway open throughout the night. However, these treatments work through different mechanisms. Oral appliance therapy offers a mechanical solution by physically adjusting the position of your jaw, while NightLase® strengthens and tightens the throat tissues at a cellular level.

Depending on your specific condition, one or a combination of these treatments can reduce or eliminate snoring. If you or a loved one has been snoring persistently or you are not feeling refreshed when you wake up, consult Moonlight Sleep REMedies for a lasting solution.