Sleep Apnoea and Snoring
Do you snore?
Maybe you have disturbed your partner with your snoring, or your partner has informed you that loud snoring is causing others in your home to suffer sleepless nights.
While snoring is a frustrating condition on its own, it can also be the sign of a much larger problem.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea
Sleep apnoea is a serious health condition that can be caused by a number of factors including weight gain, large tonsils, a deviated septum and even genetics. Males are more prone to sleep apnoea than females, and people over age 40 are also at higher risk.
When you fall asleep, the soft tissues in your throat can relax so much that they vibrate with every breath and cause snoring. They can also relax to the point that they actually obstruct your airway. This causes you to rouse multiple times during the night and prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep.
If your partner reports that your snoring is uneven or that you start and stop snoring abruptly, we recommend that you arrange an appointment to find out if you have sleep apnoea.
Other common signs that can point to obstructive sleep apnoea include:
- A sore throat when you wake up
- Daytime drowsiness
- Headaches throughout the day
- Mood swings
- Waking up multiple times throughout the night
A sleep study may be necessary to determine the severity of your condition. Untreated sleep apnoea is linked to numerous other significant health problems including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure
Additionally, the poor sleep caused by sleep apnoea can lead to drowsiness during the day which can be dangerous while driving and can cause problems at work and at home.
Treating Snoring and Sleep Apnoea
Unfortunately, many of the treatments recommended for sleep apnoea are uncomfortable or invasive. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are noisy and can be difficult to get used to, and surgery does not have a very high success rate.
We welcome you to contact our practice and arrange an appointment to discuss continuous oral appliance therapy (COAT).
This product is worn at night while you are sleeping. Unlike a CPAP machine, the appliance is comfortable to wear and custom-fitted to your mouth for a proper fit. It also won’t disturb the sleep of your partner like a CPAP can.
If your dentist determines that the appliance is a good choice for you, you will be fitted for your own unique device. Your appliance works by moving your lower jaw into a forward position that increases the space available in your airway. This allows air to move freely and reduces the vibration that causes snoring.
Because your appliance is customised for your mouth, it fits comfortably and provides enough space for small jaw movements.
If you think you might have sleep apnoea or you have trouble with snoring, we welcome you to contact our clinic to find out what we can do to help you have a better night’s sleep.