Snoring and Sleep Apnea Cures
There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Central sleep apnoea is where the brain is in some way not telling the body to breathe, which can be due to more systemic medical conditions better suited for sleep physicians to deal with. Where dentistry plays a role is with Obstructive Sleep Apnea cures. It’s where the flow of air (which delivers oxygen into the bloodstream and ultimately to the brain) is interrupted or restricted through a variety of mechanisms.
Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Snoring is one obvious symptom of some sort of obstruction or interference, but sleep apnea often occurs when there is no audible snoring or physical manifestation of snoring. Likewise, snoring does not always mean you have sleep apnoea. One of the benefits of seeing your dentist is that we can potentially diagnose Obstructive Sleep Apnea before you realise you have it.
A simple observation can help provide an indication of your propensity for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. If you’re overweight or obese or have a large neck circumference—over 43cm for a male—that would place you at high risk.
If your facial structure is such that you have a pinched nose or face that restricts the airways; if you have a nasal tone in your voice or have some sort of congestion; or if the size of your jaw muscles suggest you’re a heavy tooth grinder, you might well find a potential issue, or if your tonsils or tongue are really large, then these too could indicate that there is a higher probability of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Other conditions associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
If you have high blood pressure or associated medical conditions, or if you have a higher than average alcohol consumption, we would need to investigate further. We are looking out for any issues with daytime sleepiness and fatigue, low concentration levels, sudden mood changes or irritability. Other signs include a reduced sex drive or an increased need to go to the bathroom during the night.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Cures and Treatments
Once Obstructive Sleep Apnea has been diagnosed, the dental team at Bexley Dental would create an overall treatment plan. We might refer you to a sleep physician or ear, nose and throat specialist to see if there are any physical causes of obstruction to sleep and breathing. They would likely arrange a sleep study.
At that point, the medical practitioners would determine the appropriate course of action and if dental treatment is appropriate, the patient would come back to us with a referral. The primary form of dental treatment is to provide and fit a medical intervention device.
A medical intervention device is one of the more effective sleep apnea cures. It’s essentially a mouthguard fitted to both the top and bottom sets of teeth. It’s connected in such a way that it moves the lower jaw forward as if you’re pushing your chin forward. In doing so, it moves the tongue and associated airway muscles forward and away from the airway, to open it up and allow more air to flow through.
Keen to learn more about how we can help with Obstructive Sleep Apnea cures? We have a special Gap-free offer for new patients. Call us on (02) 9567 4151 for more details.