We often are asked if there is anything that can be done about snoring, usually being asked by the non-snoring partner as they are the one being kept awake by the snoring. Sometimes it will be from the snorer if they get kicked enough in the night. The short answer is yes, the longer answer is, it depends. Snoring itself is a nuisance, waking the non-snorer who then wakes the snorer and nobody gets any sleep, and is caused by vibrations of soft tissue in a collapsed or restricted airway. It gets more complicated than just snoring because snoring is common in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. If it is just snoring and not a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, then an oral appliance may be beneficial and lessen or even stop the snoring. Not all snorers have sleep apnea! An oral appliance may still help even if you have sleep apnea, but if you have sleep apnea and don’t know it, covering up one of the symptoms can ultimately do more harm than good. If sleep apnea is not treated it can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack/failure, diabetes, ED, frequent urination, gastric reflux and/or depression. Obstructive sleep apnea can affect any one at any age and men are more likely to be affected than women, but several other factors enter in. Risks are greater if you are over 40, overweight and have enlarged tonsils, a large tongue or a small jaw. Additionally, having a nasal obstruction from a deviated septum, allergies or other sinus problems or a family history of sleep apnea increase the risks. There are treatments for obstructive sleep apnea, including: 1) change your sleeping habits i.e. don’t sleep on your back and there are even devices to help you do so. 2) CPAP which stands for continuous positive air pressure (breathing through a mask). 3) Oral appliances, of which there are currently over 120 FDA approved appliances. 4) The last resort of surgery if nothing else works. The bottom line is this, an oral appliance can help reduce the snoring, making life better for all, but you really should be evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea before proceeding with one. Even if you currently use CPAP, an appliance can be beneficial. Many times the CPAP mask will be removed during the night while an appliance tends to stay in.