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A Confession from Illume's Practice Owner, Tim Rumney

Ladies and Gentlemen – I have a confession – I SNORE!

There, I admit it. Thousands of others don’t. They either don’t believe they snore or realise they do but don’t want to do anything about it.

However that doesn’t seem fair on their sleeping partner - or others affected by the huge problem that is sleep disordered breathing.

Since attending further post-graduate training I have been able to prove to myself the effectiveness of wearing a snore guard and feel well placed to help others as I have tried a few, know which ones work and their pros and cons. 

Snoring, and it’s more serious relative, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), affects many people. Here are some facts you may not be aware of.

It is estimated that as many as 60% of people snore at some stage in their lives and snoring is more prevalent in older people. It is more common in men than women with a ratio of 2:1 though this evens up after the menopause. It is more common in people who are overweight and who drink alcohol. Going to bed after a few too many will only increase our likelihood of snoring.

Snoring is sometimes cited as a contributory factor in relationship difficulties and the cause of couples sleeping in separate rooms. It also leads to difficulties on long flights and in hotel rooms – whenever there is a shared sleeping space. It has even greater knock-on effects: from daytime drowsiness affecting a person’s ability to function, to really serious events such as traffic accidents – drivers of cars, lorries and coaches falling asleep at the wheel as a direct result of sleep apnoea.

But help is at hand and at Illume we can provide that help.

Your GP is not in a position to do much other than refer to a physician specialising in sleep medicine. And they are very stretched and can really only help those diagnosed with the more serious OSA.

As dentists we are ideally placed to help as with suitable post-graduate training we have the skills both to screen for OSA (and refer on if necessary) and to make effective snore guards – dental appliances that reduce and in many cases eliminate snoring.

You can find ‘DIY’ snore guards on the internet but nothing can match a custom made precision appliance made by a dentist and his technician. It fits better, lasts longer and works more effectively.

So how do I know if I snore or whether I might have OSA? – well that’s easy – your partner will tell you or maybe has already tried! If they tell you that you gasp, choke or appear to stop breathing in your sleep then that can be a serious indication to get checked out. And if you still don’t believe it and have a smart phone then download an app like Sleeptalk – it records all the noises made while you’re asleep and you’ll be amazed.

Do yourself – and your partner – a favour and ask us about snore guards such as Somnowell and Sleepwell.

Somnowell in particular is a sophisticated and precision-made appliance which, unlike most other guards, isn’t bulky. So you can wear it without others being aware of it, you can still speak with it in and also drink and take medications. It’s an excellent investment for you and your partner – they’ll appreciate it as much or more than you will!

For more information there are some really good resources online

or download the Sleeptalk App at the App Store.

If you’d like to join the list of clients who’ve been helped to reduce their snoring then give us a call to book a consultation with Tim Rumney on 01242 522230 or drop an email to

We’d love to be able to help you.