Sleep apnoea occurs when there is a lack of oxygen passing through from the lungs to the brain. The sleeper will awaken, to open up the airway by snorting and gasping, and quickly fall back to sleep. Often people suffering from sleep apnoea don’t realize they are awakening to do this, so unfortunately it can happen numerous times during the night.
It is estimated that about 5% of Australians suffer from this condition and are unaware of it.
This is the more common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when the muscles at the back of the throat relax excessively, leading to a temporary blockage or narrowing of the airway. As a result, breathing is interrupted or significantly reduced, causing brief awakenings throughout the night to restore proper breathing. Loud snoring is a common symptom of OSA.
This type of sleep apnea is less common and differs from OSA in its underlying cause. In CSA, the brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles responsible for controlling breathing. As a result, individuals with CSA may experience pauses in breathing during sleep without the physical obstruction seen in OSA. It’s often associated with medical conditions affecting the central nervous system, such as certain neurological disorders.
Oral appliance therapy is often used when the patient is unable to tolerate or refuses CPAP therapy. It has been proven very effective for snoring and those suffering mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea. Oral appliance therapy may also be used in patients with severe obstructive sleep apnoea (who are unable to tolerate CPAP therapy). There are two types of oral appliance therapy:
The most common type of oral appliance used. They are also known as Mandibular Advance Splint or Mandibular Repositioning Device. This repositions the jaw in a forward position to maintain a clear airway.
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.
Snoring is quite 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. Factors that contribute to snoring include:
While snoring can be harmless in the short-term, it can also develop into or be a symptom of 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.
Snoring in children may be a sign of poor oxygen levels, which results in the body constantly waking up, leading to poor quality/restless sleep. This can lead to a lack of concentration at school, or poor energy and stamina levels. Sometimes, it can also contribute to, or be misdiagnosed as, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). At Purity Dental, we can help you determine if your snoring is caused by sleep apnoea and guide you on the steps you need to take to manage this condition, or refer you to the help you need to get a possible medical condition diagnosed.
Treating sleep apnoea is vital due to its negative effects on physical and mental health. Addressing it leads to improved sleep quality, reduced risks of cardiovascular issues, enhanced cognitive function, better mood, increased energy, and a higher quality of life.
Treatment also reduces risks of accidents that may come about due to exhaustion and fatigue, and prevents complications like heart disease. Seeking medical advice for proper diagnosis and treatment is crucial.
At Purity Dental, we’re dedicated to providing exceptional dental care that goes beyond the ordinary. Our team of experienced and caring dental professionals keeps up with the latest advancements in dental technology. Our clinic is also equipped with state-of-the-art tools and equipment for efficient treatments.
From general dentistry to specialised treatments like orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, preventative dentistry, dental emergency services and more, we offer a wide range of dental solutions under one roof.
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