Obstructive Sleep Apnoea
Many patients are unaware that dentists can identify and treat a variety of sleep disorders, that are often linked to snoring. Qualified and experienced sleep apnoea dentists or physicians are crucial to correctly identifying snoring problems and diagnosing sleep apnoea.
Dr Aukett, here at Tewantin Dental Centre, is a qualified Sound Sleeper dentist, who takes a solutions-based approach and views every patient uniquely. She is an accredited professional who is fully equipped to provide all our patients with a safe, customised and comfortable solution so your loved ones can look forward to a lifetime of blissful sleep and rest.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?
Sleep Apnoea can be a potentially serious disorder, as it interrupts the sufferer's breathing during sleep. The sufferer's breathing is physically obstructed as the muscles of the throat relax and block the airway. The blockage can occur from anywhere between a few seconds to a minute, at which point your brain will jolt you awake. This will then cause regular interruptions to your sleep and can cut off the oxygen supply to the brain which often leads to poor concentration and daytime fatigue.
The severity of your sleep apnoea will depend on how many interruptions you experience in an hour of sleep. Less than five interruptions per hour, is classified as normal breathing, between five to fifteen is classified as mild sleep apnoea and fifteen to thirty interruptions is classed a moderate and more than thirty means you suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea.
What are the symptom of Sleep Apnoea?
In order to be correctly diagnosed with sleep apnoea, it is best you visit an accredited sleep apnoea dentist. There are however, a few identifiable symptoms which may suggest you have sleep apnoea which include:
- Snoring - this is the most common symptom of this disorder but it's important to note that not all snorers suffer from sleep apnoea
- Fatigued during the day
- Waking up with a dry mouth or a headache in the morning
- Difficulty concentrating when awake
- Frequent mood changes
How can Sleep Apnoea be treated?
Fortunately, proper treatment can drastically reduce, if not eliminate most if not all symptoms and risks associated with OSA. Losing weight and controlling your consumption of cigarettes and alcohol are two lifestyle changes you can make which will help your sleep apnoea. Changing your sleeping position also may help, such as sleeping on your side. However, these changes will not work in all cases.
Changing your sleeping position also may help, such as sleeping on your side, however, these changes will not always work.
Dr Aukett is here to help you treat your obstructive sleep apnoea. The most effective way to treat Sleep Apnoea is with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. This involves using a small machine that pumps a continuous flow of air through a mask that you wear while sleeping which will help prevent your throat muscles from closing. It is one of the most effective treatments but many patients find the mask uncomfortable to sleep with.
You can also treat sleep apnoea with an oral device called an mandibular advancement splint which holds your lower jaw in a forward position to create more room for air to flow through. This treatment is often best for those with mild or moderate sleep apnoea and an effective treatment for snoring. Your dentist may also recommend a device, also similar to a mouthguard which is known as a tongue-stabilisation device that holds your tongue in place when you sleep and prevent it form dropping back into the throat.
For best diagnosis and treatment plan, book an appointment with Dr Aukett now!
Disclaimer: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.