Do you live with sleep apnoea or snoring?
Apnoea (apnea) means a temporary cessation of breathing. When breathing is interrupted during sleep, it is called sleep apnoea.
Sleep apnoea affects millions of Australians and many people may not be aware they are sufferers. Sleep apnoea is often accompanied by snoring, and can affect your personal life. Lack of oxygen to the body with by snoring or sleep apnoea is not healthy and result in poor sleep and can be fatal in many ways.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnoea?
Often, a person won’t even know that they have sleep apnoea unless their partner notices that they snore, or stop breathing multiple times, during sleep. Other symptoms of sleep apnoea include:
- Morning headaches
- Jaw pain
- Daytime sleepiness
- Frequent night-time urination
- Teeth grinding
- Worn, chipped, or broken teeth
What causes sleep apnoea?
The main cause of sleep apnoea is the closure or collapse of the upper airway during sleep, resulting in a lack of oxygen to the body. This can be due to the muscles around the airway becoming too relaxed, the weight of your neck narrowing the airway, or the shape of your nose, neck or jaw.
What is the treatment for sleep apnoea?
To ascertain the severity of the problem, you will need a detailed dental and sleep examination. We can treat mild to moderate sleep apnoea with a dental appliance such as a Mandibular Advancement Device which holds the lower jaw forward and supports the airway, keeping it open. Severe sleep apnoea will require a CPAP machine to assist in breathing. These can be intimidating, uncomfortable to wear and inconvenient. In some cases a more comfortable dental appliance can be used in conjunction.
Alternative options are available such as surgery. Your dentist will discuss all options with you.