In Australia, it is estimated that up to 60% of all adults snore occasionally and 30% snore every night. That equates to a lot of noise during those much needed forty winks! Obstructive sleep apnoea is one of the leading causes of snoring worldwide, alongside being one of the most reported sleep disorders. Left untreated, it can lead to more serious health complications down the line.
But, for those people who know they are snorers, how is a trip to a dentist in Sydney CBD going to alleviate this issue?
Causes of sleep apnoea
First, it is important to understand what sleep apnoea actually is. In the simplest terms, sleep apnoea is a disorder that causes an individual’s breathing to stop or become unusually shallow during sleep; this typically occurs with very heavy snoring.
This obstruction of the airway is often caused by the lower jaw falling back when the facial and jaw muscles relax naturally during sleep.
Lifestyle factors play a significant part too, such as consumption of alcohol, smoking, illnesses or untreated acid reflux. Sometimes, there are genetic factors linked to sleep apnoea too, such as large tonsils.
How a check-up can help
A person with sleep apnoea is more likely to feel tired during the day, which will obviously impact on day to day functioning, as well as causing severe upset to anyone who shares the bed!
Booking a check-up to see a dentist in Sydney CBD can identify the cause of the sleep disturbance and provide a practical solution.
Dentistry sleep solutions
The medical field is becoming more aware of how detrimental a lack of sleep can be on the immune system and how it negatively impacts an individual’s mental health.
When visiting the dental surgery for a check-up, the dental professional will take measurements and analyse tooth structure to create a custom-fitted mouthguard; this is usually done from taking an impression of the teeth.
Made from hard-wearing, durable plastic, these custom-fitted mouthpieces are designed to prevent the lower jaw from falling back onto your airway during sleep.
As the lower jaw is held in place, there is no intermittent obstruction of the airway throughout the night, also eliminating the heavy snoring associated with sleep apnoea. This will allow the wearer (and the person they share their bed with) to enjoy a more restful sleep and feel more energised in the morning!
Another plus of a custom-fitted mouthguard? Better overall health due to an unobstructed airway, improved immune system function from better quality sleep and improved mental well-being.
A dental mouthguard may not completely eliminate the sleep apnoea and therefore a medical check-up by a doctor may also be required. It is important to eliminate common medical causes of sleep apnoea such as alcohol consumption, smoking or diabetes. It is also essential to explore this disorder with a doctor to eliminate it as a side-effect of any medications that may have been prescribed. Common medications that can cause sleep apnoea include sedatives and barbiturates.
This article is intended to be informative only and not a substitute for professional medical advice. Any dental procedure carries potential risks. When deciding to undergo any dental procedure, seek advice from a qualified health practitioner.