Sleep Apnoea & Snoring Therapy
A snoring partner can make it impossible to get a good night’s rest and may even force them to sleep in a separate room. While a snoring partner might seem like a nuisance, loud, chronic snoring can also indicate a sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnoea, or OSA.
What Causes OSA and Snoring?
Genetics play a role in sleep-disordered breathing but are only a fraction of the factors leading to interrupted sleep. Men are more likely to have OSA, especially over the age of forty, though anyone can have it – even children.
Factors contributing to OSA:
- Excessive weight and obesity
- Alcohol and tobacco use
- Thick neck circumference
- Certain drugs and medications
- Chronic sinus infections
- Tonsils and throat tissue
- Bruxism (clenching and grinding) and malocclusion (incorrect bite)
What Happens with Sleep Apnoea?
When the tissues at the back of the throat block the airway, insufficient oxygen reaches the brain and other vital organs. This sends an alarm to the brain with a ‘wake up’ signal. Though you may not remember waking, it can occur dozens – or even hundreds – of times per night depending on the severity of the OSA.
With constant waking, the body is not only deprived of oxygen but also lacks the restorative sleep required for health. Lack of sleep and oxygen associated with apnoea are linked to many dangerous conditions.
- Heart disease and high blood pressure
- Depression and anxiety
- Worsening of ADHD
Another risk is that daytime fatigue leads to poor concentration, making it difficult to safely operate a vehicle and posing challenges at work or school.
Treatment for Snoring and Sleep Apnoea
Fortunately, at L&R Dental, we have solutions for patients who want a restful night’s sleep. Diagnosis of OSA from an accredited sleep specialist will provide guidance and recommendations for treatment.
Continuous Open Airway Therapy (COAT)
For an alternative to continuous positive air pressure therapy (CPAP), a customised oral appliance can gently reposition the tissues at the back of the throat that relax during sleep, improving airflow and reducing snoring.
Toowoomba dentists Dr Leanne Welsh, Dr Rachael Milford, and Dr Lewis Ferguson use SomnoMed COAT devices to improve sleep quality and encourage oxygenation with improved airflow. To create your appliance, we will take impressions and fabricate moulds to demonstrate how the teeth come together. Then, we work with SomnoMed to design a comfortable oral appliance to move the lower jaw forward slightly, opening the throat.
Many patients find an oral appliance much easier to adjust to and more convenient for travel.
Are You Ready for a Restful Night’s Sleep?
We welcome you to get in touch to arrange a consultation regarding sleep apnoea treatment at our Toowoomba dental clinic. We will be happy to discuss your symptoms and offer treatment options for better sleep and improved quality of life.