Snoring and Sleep Apnoea
Sleep Apnoea is the condition in which breathing ceases for about ten seconds while a person is sleeping. It is identified as one of the major sleep problems that causes daytime sleepiness.
Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) can also have a significant impact on your overall health. Symptoms include Poor memory, headaches, muscle tenderness evidently on the face, back and neck pain and daytime sleepiness.
Snoring is one symptom of a SDB problem.
At Sydney Holistic Dental Centre, there are a number of ways we can treat sleep problems and snoring.
Once you have prioritised sleep and developed a good sleep hygiene/routine, i.e. consistently getting between 7-9 hours’ sleep each night, you should feel more refreshed.
If you don’t, then the final and most important part of a good night’s sleep may not yet be addressed – that is, breathing well while you’re asleep.
Putting your head on the pillow for 7-9 hours is sometimes not enough.
It is vitally important that when you are asleep you are also breathing well. This is about the body and brain rebuilding, regenerating and rebooting – the whole purpose of a good night’s sleep.
Without optimal breathing, your body will not receive the oxygen it requires for energy, and maintain the carbon dioxide levels to help balance out body chemistry in the required ratios that enable proper rejuvenation.
If you’re not feeling refreshed when you wake up, have an assessment from a suitably trained medical practitioner or dentist who is familiar with these issues.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I wake up with headaches, neck aches or jaw pain?
- Do I snore?
- Do I clench or grind my teeth?
- Do I wake up with dry lips or a dry mouth?
If you answer yes to any of these, it is worthwhile visiting for an assessment of your sleeping and breathing. We can then help you determine the best way to address these issues.
Other key signs and symptoms or a sleep apnoea issue:
- Partner notices you stop breathing
- Choking sensation during sleep
- Frequent visits to the bathroom during the night
- Daytime tiredness
- Lack of energy
- Poor concentration and memory
- Falling asleep during the day
The figure below shows how disrupted sleep can lead to snoring, then sleep disordered breathing and then obstructive sleep apnoea:
If we suspect OSA, we can refer you to a sleep specialist. A sleep study (polysomnography) is performed by a qualified sleep physician and measures oxygen saturation, brain waves, depth of sleep, number of times you actually stop breathing (for more than 10 seconds or have a restricted airway) and much more.
Depending upon this result, it may be beneficial for you to pursue a custom fitted appliance to assist with your sleep disordered breathing. One such device is a Somnomed.
How does Somnomed help?
The Somnomed device gently and non-invasively adjusts the forward movement of your jaw which in turn opens your airway to help you breathe easily and sleep restfully.
Why do you need a custom made device fitted?
Comfort and retention are critical in treatment success and clinical research has proven custom made and fitted devices are much more effective than cheap one size fits all devices sold online and over the counter.
People come in all shapes and sizes and have different mails and your shapes so you should have advice customer made just for you. You will be wearing your device for a long time, so you want to make sure it fits properly and is of benefit to your health.
What will we do?
Upon you initial consultation we will
- Review the history of your sleep condition
- Complete thorough examination of your teeth and mouth head neck and jaw
- Refer you to sleep specialist if required
If the best course of treatment is a Somnomed device, or another custom appliance we will:
- Take dental impressions. Models or casts of your teeth and mouth that will be sent to the lab where your device will be custom made.
- Take a bite registration to determine how far forward to move your jaw; this involves measuring your bite in a comfortable forward position.
- Conduct follow-up visits, to fit and adjust will ensure comfort and appropriate results
Commonly Asked Questions
What is the relationship between sleeping & breathing and my oral & general health? How can a holistic dentist help?
You might be surprised to know how related your sleep is to your general health, physically mentally and emotionally, and that also includes your oral health. It is a combination of quantity (getting enough sleep) and quality (breathing well while you are asleep).
There are a number of ways that a practitioner could help you improve your sleep hygiene and the way you breathe at night.
Snoring and waking up unrefreshed (even after following the tips above) can be an indication of something far more serious.
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