Mild Sleep Apnoea and Snoring.
Restful sleep is crucial for the body and mind to function coherently. If you are suffering from unexplained tiredness or a lack of concentration, you may be experiencing sleep apnoea during the night which is affecting your sleeping patterns. Snoring and sleep apnoea are often related.
Snoring is often caused by the back of the tongue vibrating against the soft palate. Dentists can treat snoring by bringing the lower jaw forward in sleep, which moves the tongue away from the the palate. In order to treat this, your dentist would need to know if you had been diagnosed with sleep apnoea, which often goes hand in hand with snoring. A dentist cannot treat sleep apnoea without a sleep physician’s reference following a sleep test.
7 simple questions for sleep apnoea.
- Do you snore? Y or N
- Are you excessively tired during the day? Y or N
- Have you woken short of breath during the night?? Y or N
- Do you have a history of hypertension? Y or N
- Are you overweight? Y or N
- Do you wake with a headache? Y or N
- Do you feel sleepy during the day? Y or N
YES to two or more of these questions is a positive screen for sleep apnoea.
What is Sleep Apnoea?
Sleep apnoea is a common breathing problem that can affect your sleep, health and quality of life.
Sleep apnoea occurs when the walls of the throat relax and collapse during sleep, blocking off the upper airway. Breathing stops for a period of time until the brain registers the lack of breathing or a drop in oxygen levels and alerts the body to arouse.
The sleeper wakes slightly, typically snorts and gasps to open the airway, then drifts back to sleep almost immediately. In most cases, the person suffering from sleep apnoea doesn’t even realise they have stirred. This pattern can repeat itself hundreds of times every night, causing fragmented sleep. It affects the person suffering from sleep apnoea as well as their partner who may be woken from the disturbance.
It’s estimated that about five per cent of Australians suffer from this sleep disorder.
Your East Melbourne Dentist can help with sleep apnoea.
There are various options for treating sleep apnoea. One of the options is to use a Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS), which are generally effective for non obese patients suffering mild or moderate snoring.
This works by holding the mandible forward. Since the tongue is attached to the mandible, the tongue is held forward preventing it from falling backwards and causing obstruction. Patients who may be suitable for treatment with a MAS should be referred to a dentist. It is very important that the device is properly manufactured and customised for each patient.
Sleep apnoea in Melbourne is a serious condition that should be treated correctly. There are stages of apnoea from mild to severe, which should be assessed and treated appropriately. Appliances bought online or from your pharmacist are not custom made and not recommended by our dentists.
Contact us today for your sleep apnoea treatment.