With all the stress that comes during the holiday season, the last thing you need is to be woken up by a snoring spouse or family member! Snoring is a wide-spread oral health problem affecting nearly 45 percent of the population. Snoring is a result of the vibration of the uvula (tissue hanging from roof of the soft palate) and the back of the soft palate. Snoring can be caused by a variety of factors including an elongated soft palate, large tonsils, excess fat deposits, blocked nasal passages from a cold or allergies or the collapse of the musculature of the throat and mouth during sleep. Luckily your dentist may have a non-invasive solution. There are a variety of plastic oral appliances which can be custom fit to your mouth by your dentist. Some of these oral appliances reposition the lower jaw forward, while others retain the tongue in a forward position. Either way, these devices serve to maintain an open, unobstructed airway in the throat while sleeping which helps to eliminate snoring. There are also a few slightly more invasive techniques to help eliminate snoring including the use of a device called CPAP (continuous positive air pressure). With this device a stream of air is pushed through a tube connected to a mask that covers the nose. A continuous flow of air forces the breathing passages to stay open during sleep. A third treatment to consider is a relatively simple procedure called uvulopalatoplasty. Tissue from the soft palate and uvula is removed. This is usually an in-office procedure and is done under local anesthesia. Moderate pain is to be expected with this procedure. When deciding which treatment option is right for you, be sure to consult your dentist or family physician.