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Sleep Apnoea and Snoring

Purity Dental  >  Conditions  >  Sleep Apnoea and Snoring

Majority of people don’t realise their snoring can lead to bigger and a more serious health issue

Sleep Apnoea occurs when there is a lack of oxygen passing through from the brain to the lungs. The sleeper will awaken, to open up the airway by snorting or gasping and quickly fall back to sleep.

Often people suffering sleep apnoea don’t realise they are awakening to do this, so unfornately it can happen numerous times during the night.

Estimated about 5% of Australian suffer from this condition and are unaware of it.

Indications of sleep apnoea

  • Snoring
  • Restless sleep
  • Sleepiness during the day
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Wakes up often during sleep
  • Unrefreshed in the morning

Oral appliance therapy is often used when the patient is unable to tolerate CPAP therapy. It has been proven to be very effective for snoring and those suffering mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea. Also oral appliance therapy may be utilised in the patient with severe obstructive sleep apnoea who are unable to tolerate or refuse CPAP therapy.

There are two types of oral appliance therapy:

1) Oral Appliance Therapy

Mandibular Advancement Device

The most common type of oral appliance used.

They are also known as Mandibular Advancement Splint or Mandibular Repositioning Device.

Tongue Retaining/Stabilising Device

Engages and holds the tongue in a forward position by means of a suction bulb without affecting the mandible or teeth.

When the tongue is in a forward position, it prevents the back of the tongue from collapsing during sleep and obstructing the airway in the throat. Tongue retaining/stabilising devices are non-adjustable.

2) Lifestyle and Behavioural Changes
  • Exercise
  • Weight loss
  • Good sleep hygiene (e.g. have a regular sleeping pattern, avoid caffeine and eating large meals late at night)
  • Sleep position – sleeping on the side is beneficial
  • Avoid sedatives and tranquilisers such as sleeping pills
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid smoking
How common is snoring?

Snoring is common, with approximately 40% of men and 30% of women affected. Snoring occurs in all age groups but is most common in the middle aged population.

In children, large tonsils and adenoids are a common cause of snoring.

What contributes to snoring?
  • Obesity
  • Alcohol and sedative use
  • Nasal congestion
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Sleeping on your back
  • Allergies and hay fever
  • Smoking
  • Abnormality of the upper airway or orofacial structures
How serious is snoring?

While snoring can be harmless in the short-term, it can also develop into or be a symptom of a more serious medical condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.

Snoring is also a major lifestyle and social problem for partners and families. Snoring deprives both the sufferer and their bed partner of good sleep, which has consequences for daytime functioning. A snoring partner may be forced to sleep in a separate room.

Snoring in children may be a sign of poor oxygen levels, which results in the body constantly waking up, leading to poor quality or restless sleep. This can lead to a lack of concentration at school, or poor energy and stamina level.  Sometimes, it can also contribute to, or be misdiagnosed as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD).

The symptoms of Sleep Apnoea include:

  • Loud or frequent snoring
  • Choking or gasping while you sleep
  • Pauses in breathing
  • Morning headaches
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Insomnia due to difficulty staying asleep
  • Waking up with dry mouth or a sore throat
  • Frequent need to urinate during the night
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Memory or learning problems
  • Moodiness, irritability or depression

We take the time to get to know every patient

because we pride ourselves on patient focused care.