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Sleep Apnoea Treatment & Testing

Every night, all across Australia, there’s a constant battle between a snoring sleeper and a frustrated partner.

This often results in an elbow to the ribs or the snorer being banished to the lounge with a pillow and blanket.

Sleep apnoea facts

Some people have been recorded snoring as loud as 80 decibels, which is as loud as a vacuum cleaner two metres away. Although some partners would argue it’s more like a jumbo jet taking off.

Often the butt on many jokes, snoring may be an indicator of the very serious health condition of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). Some people may even have a predisposition to OSA stemming from childhood because of narrow arches and their jaw developed into a malaligned bite.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea occurs when the soft tissue and muscles at the back of the throat that keep the airway clear relax during sleep. This causes a blockage of the air passage and a pause in breathing, which can last from 10 seconds up to one minute. In severe cases, this can occur 10 times per hour.

The result is an elevation in adrenaline release into the bloodstream causing the snorer to jolt awake, breathe and fall back to sleep almost instantly, often unaware of waking.

In addition to daytime fatigue due to disruptive sleep patterns, OSA may also contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke as well as destabilise diabetes.

If you or your partner snore or you notice they stop breathing during sleep, schedule a consultation appointment with the iSmile Studio Dental team. We can assess the positioning of the jaw while it is relaxed and determine if your OSA could potentially be resolved with the use of a night splint. Get in touch on (03) 9888 5677 or visit our practice at 1/92 Balwyn Rd, Balwyn VIC 3103.

Other factors

Factors that can contribute to OSA include being overweight, smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol, especially prior to sleep. Often losing 10 – 15 kilos can reduce the severity of sleep apnoea, as too can a dental night splint.

Sitting in the car or on public transport on the way to work, then at a desk working for hours at a time, and then in front of the TV when you get home, has led to sitting being referred to as ‘the new smoking’.

Appliances

There are a number of dental appliances that can reposition the jaw, helping to open the air passage and make breathing during sleep easier.

Similar in appearance to a sport mouth guard fitted over both the top and bottom teeth it pushes the bottom jaw forward. For most people this opens up the airway and supports it so it is less likely to collapse, helping to reduce the number and severity of sleep apnoea events.

For most people, advancing the jaw by 8 to 10mm is enough to make a difference, but may need to be adjusted if it’s not effective or is uncomfortable.

For severe osa

For people diagnosed with severe OSA, a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine is recommended as the most suitable treatment solution.

A CPAP machine has a small, quiet air pump, a tube and face mask that fits comfortably over the nose (and sometimes the mouth). It’s designed to pump a constant flow of low pressure air into the throat. This prevents the airway from collapsing and also stops snoring instantly.

The CPAP machine does not cure Sleep Apnoea. If you stop using it, snoring and Sleep Apnoea will re-occur.

If you or a family member is suffering from Sleep Apnoea, call (03) 9888 5677 to schedule a consultation with our dental team. We are located at 1/92 Balwyn Rd, Balwyn VIC 3103.

Did you know?

Increase in paediatric sleep apnoea caused by childhood obesity.

Usually associated with overweight middle-aged men, sleep apnoea can also affect children.

Some causes can include enlarged tonsils and adenoids – surgery may be recommended to remove them – or a large overbite. However, the increase in overweight and obese children has also led to an increase in paediatric obstructive sleep apnoea.

Sleep is very important for children as that’s the time when body growth hormones are released.

When children don’t get the sleep they need, (9-10 hours per night) or their sleep patterns are disrupted due to sleep apnoea, they are at a higher risk for other health problems.

Fatigue and difficulty concentrating resulting from poor sleep can lead to poor performance at school.

Sleep deprivation in children is often not considered as a cause or attributed to attention-deficit or behaviour disorders.

Treating OSA in children is the same as adults. Depending on the severity and following a sleep study, a dental appliance or CPAP machine may be recommended. If you think your child may be suffering from paediatric sleep apnoea, schedule a consultation. You can call us on (03) 9888 5677 or visit 1/92 Balwyn Rd, Balwyn VIC 3103.

Let’s talk

iSmile Studio in Balwyn is located at
1/92 Balwyn Rd.

Call us today on
(03) 9888 5677.

If you need advice for sleep apnoea in Melbourne, or require support with any other aspect of your oral health, we’d love to chat. Rest assured, we are here to listen and to understand. We are committed to taking the time to examine, diagnose and comprehensively plan your treatment, for an everlasting smile!