Sleep Apnoea Treatment
If you or your partner snores loudly, you know firsthand how disruptive it can be to getting a restful night’s sleep. Snoring can also indicate the presence of a serious medical condition known as obstructive sleep apnoea, or OSA.
What Is Sleep Apnoea?
As the muscles relax during sleep, the tissue at the back of the throat can block the airway and lead to snoring, choking or interrupted breathing. When this occurs, the body signals the brain to awaken in order to restore proper breathing. These disruptions are what characterise OSA. As a result, the body suffers in two ways:
- Lack of adequate oxygen
- Interruption of healthy sleep cycles
Both of these issues can damage nearly every system in the body and exacerbate existing medical conditions, including:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Low testosterone
- Heart disease
- Increased weight and obesity
While sleep apnoea is more common in males, both men and women are at risk. The risk for both men and women increases with age and weight gain.
Diagnosis of OSA
For a proper diagnosis, a referral to a sleep clinic is necessary. This will allow a specialist to recommend an at-home or clinical sleep study to monitor sleeping patterns. Once a diagnosis is made, a correlating treatment recommendation to address the problem will follow.
Treatment for Sleep Apnoea
The recommended treatment for OSA depends on the severity. Often, the first line of treatment includes CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) therapy. CPAP therapy uses a machine to deliver a continuous flow of oxygen through a mask during sleep. This opens the airway and delivers oxygen simultaneously.
Unfortunately, for many, sleeping with the CPAP mask can feel uncomfortable or awkward. Many patients remove it unconsciously as they sleep, leaving them unprotected.
At North Brisbane Dental Clinic, we offer a comfortable and effective alternative for mild to moderate sleep apnoea as well as snoring.
Oral Appliance Therapy for OSA and Snoring
Dr Georgia Sheahan and Dr Kristine El-Atem use the SomnoMed splint to provide patients with relief from snoring and sleep apnoea. The SomnoMed night guard fits over the upper and lower teeth and gently guides the lower jaw forward to provide more space at the back of the throat for air to move through. It quiets the sounds of snoring by reducing the vibration of tissue.
Many patients find this treatment option easier to manage and more discreet. It also makes it easier for people who travel to maintain their sleep apnoea treatment while on holiday or business.
Are You Ready for a Restful Night’s Sleep?
We welcome you to call and arrange a booking to speak with Dr Sheahan, Dr El-Atem or Dr Khadembaschi to find out if oral appliance therapy is right for you.
Our dental clinic is located in Wooloowin and always welcomes new patients.