Sleep Apnea & Snoring

are you waking bright and alert?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.  OSA is a chronic, lifelong medical condition that can affect your sleep, health and quality of life.  It has been linked to hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, work and driving related accidents and stroke.

It can have a significant impact on quality of life, placing unnecessary strain on relationships between bed partners, family and in the workplace.

One of the most common signs and symptoms of OSA is loud and chronic (ongoing) snoring. Pauses may occur in the snoring. Choking or gasping may follow the pauses. These brief periods of breathing cessation don’t trigger full alertness, but disrupt sleep enough to leave sufferers groggy in the mornings — and at risk for a number of more serious health problems, often without even realizing there’s a problem. You likely won’t know that you’re having problems breathing or be able to judge how severe the problem is.

During sleep, muscles relax, including those that control the tongue and throat.  Snoring is often a symptom of OSA caused by changes in your upper airway while you sleep. Your soft tissue may vibrate (commonly known as snoring) or it may completely collapse causing you to stop breathing. The soft tissue at the back of throat can sag, narrowing and constricting the airway. Collapsing of the soft tissue is called an Obstructive Apnea and may last for 10 seconds or more.

macquarieDentistsdentist examine our patients’ mouths and oral structures and discuss any risk factors with them regarding snoring and sleep apnea. They may suggest for a patient to have a sleep study, called a Polysomnogram (PSG), that is reviewed by a physician. Diagnosis of sleep apnea is based on this sleep study.

Depending on the diagnosis and severity of the condition, some treatments for snoring and OSA include the use of an oral appliance. Oral Appliance Therapy involves the selection, design, fitting and use of a custom designed oral appliance, similar to an orthodontic retainer or sports mouth guard, that is worn during sleep. Macquarie dentists use SOMNODENT appliances.

This appliance attempts to maintain an opened, unobstructed airway in the throat and may be used alone or in combination with other means of treating OSA. These means include general health, weight management, surgery, or CPAP. Oral appliances work in several ways:

  1. Repositioning the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate and uvula
  2. Stabilising the lower jaw and tongue
  3. Increasing the muscle tone of the tongue

 

SOMNODENT appliances advantages

  • Comfortable for Patients – 88% of patients report regular use of their SomnoDent device. Patients can talk and open / close their mouths and lips while wearing the device.
  • High quality and customized using the highest quality acrylic which does not discolour or attract odours. Device life expectancy 3-5 years
  • Clinically Effective- 91% of patients reported improvement in sleep quality with SomnoDent.

Determination of proper therapy can only be made by joint consultation with your dentist and physician, and your dentist will continue to monitor your treatment and evaluate the response of your teeth and jaws.

macquarieDentists will discuss any concerns you may have regarding poor sleep, snoring and OSA and suggest possible treatment options.