Snoring and Sleep Apnoea
Do you or your partner have trouble getting to sleep due to snoring? Do you often wake up tired and lethargic? If yes, then it is possible that you have a condition called sleep apnoea. Consult our professional team immediately by booking an appointment.
What is Sleep Apnoea?
Sleep apnoea (or more correctly obstructive sleep apnoea) is a condition that affects many adults. In sleep apnoea, the airway in your throat that leads from the nose and mouth to the lungs collapses when you fall asleep, due to the muscles around the throat over-relaxing. If the collapse is severe enough it blocks the airway causes an apnoea (absence of breath). If it is a partial collapse, some air may vibrate through, usually causing a snoring sound.
A person with severe sleep apnoea may have hundreds of these events each night which results in not only a disruptive sleep but a lack of oxygen to the body’s brain and other vital organs. The body compensates for this drop in oxygen by causing an increase in blood pressure to maintain blood flow to the vital organs.
It is not surprising that a chronic cycle of apnoeas places an enormous burden on the cardiovascular system.
How can Sleep Apnoea be treated?
The long term consequences of OSA are high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke and, of course, daytime fatigue and sleepiness. There are many treatments that have been tried for sleep apnoea but the treatment that is most effective, controlling the symptoms in almost everyone who uses it effectively, is CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure).
Unfortunately, some people with sleep apnoea do not tolerate CPAP and turn to other sleep apnoea treatments such as surgery to the airway or an oral appliance, also called a mandibular advancement splint (MAS) or mandibular advancement device (MAD).
Mandibular Advancement Splints work by supporting the lower jaw in a forward-postured position throughout sleep. (image required)
The usual oral appliance consists of a “mouth guard” fitted to both the top teeth and the bottom teeth and then joined together in such a way that the bottom teeth end up in front of the top teeth, like a bulldog.
Pushing the bottom jaw forward in most people opens up the airway at the base of the tongue and front of the throat and supports it so that it is less likely to collapse. This helps to reduce either the number or severity of the apnoea events.
Treatments for snoring
If your problem is not sleep apnoea but just that you snore, and snoring is causing distress to you or your family, an oral appliance or MAS may be a solution. An oral appliance, properly fitted, is usually quite effective in stopping or reducing snoring.
Whilst snoring may seem like a less important medical condition it is still important to have it managed properly because it may be a pointer to more serious sleep apnoea issue.
Even more importantly, if you are the partner of a snorer, it is crucial for your health that you too experience a calm and quiet environment at night to get a good night’s sleep for yourself.
Talk to us for more information
At North Sydney Dental Practice, we work closely with sleep physicians who will diagnose your condition and recommend appropriate treatments.
If you feel that you may require a treatment for Sleep Apnoea, contact our experienced team in North Sydney to arrange a consultation and get a full explanation of sleep apnoea treatment options.