If you’re wondering how to fix snoring and improve the quality of sleep, we can help. This article outlines the common causes, conditions and non-invasive treatments and interventions for sleep apnea and snoring, helping you to get a better night’s sleep.
What is the difference between sleep apnea and snoring?
Around 25% of the population snore regularly, causing poor sleep, fatigue and often, disagreements with partners due to constant sleep disruption. Whilst it isn’t directly harmful, snoring can cause a raft of other complications like fatigue and dry mouth (xerostomia), which can lead to halitosis (bad breath) and accelerated tooth decay due to reduced saliva.
Sleep Apnea (or more correctly Obstructive Sleep Apnea) is a slightly more serious condition, when the throat relaxes too much during sleep preventing adequate oxygen to pass through to the lungs. People can experience different severities of obstructive sleep apnea, with chronic sufferers waking up hundreds of times a night. Like snoring, sleep apnea results in fatigue, loss of concentration and broken, poor quality sleep.
What causes it?
Whilst anyone can experience sleep apnea or snoring, there is a much higher incidence in people with the following risk factors:
- Being over 30 and male
- Being pregnant
- Being overweight
- Use of alcohol, sedatives
- High blood pressure
- Anatomical factors – narrowing of the throat and nostrils
- Facial bone shape, jaw structure and the size of muscles
- Family history
How can it be treated?
There are many treatments that have been tried for sleep apnoea but the treatment that is most effective is CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). CPAP is incredibly effective in the treatment of sleep apnea and snoring, however, for many people, this is not a tolerable or effective solution.
The good news is, our team at North Sydney Dental Practice can provide you relief from snoring and sleep apnoea without the need for surgical interventions through the use of oral devices. Issuing a sleep device is multifactorial and our dentist will work with other specialists as a team to create the perfect device for your needs.
Mandibular advancement devices (MADs), or Mandibular advancement splints (MAS) are a type of oral appliance, similar to a mouthguard, that are used to treat obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. They work by repositioning the jaw and tongue forward to help keep the airway open during sleep. MADs are designed to fit snugly over the upper and lower teeth and work by holding the lower jaw and tongue forward, increasing the space in the back of the throat and reducing the likelihood of obstructions during sleep.
Whilst there are a number of ‘anti-snoring’ mouthguards on the market, a mandibular splint fitted and adjusted by our expert team ensures maximum effectiveness and will help to avoid any discomfort or injury..
Start your journey to better sleep
Want to know if a mandibular advancement splint is right for you? Get in touch with us to book an appointment to discuss your options for relieving sleep apnea and snoring.