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Snoring and Sleep Apnoea

At Duncraig Dental Care, we are an airway aware practice

If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, it might be because of a restricted airway.

What is sleep apnoea?

Sleep apnoea happens when your breathing is uneven (or even stops) while you sleep. This is because the walls of your throat are closing during sleep, blocking off your upper airway. When this happens, you’ll stop breathing for some time. It might be as short as a few seconds, or as long as 20 to 40 seconds.

When your brain realises a lack of oxygen, it will send a message through your body to wake up. At this point you’ll toss and turn a bit, letting the upper airway open. You probably won’t even realise you are waking up, snorting and gasping before drifting back to sleep.

Because of this, the pattern repeats over and over again each night. This causes uneven sleep patterns, leaving you feeling unrefreshed in the morning. You’ll feel excessive daytime sleepiness, poor concentration – and have no clue why it’s happening.

Sleep apnoea is more common than you might expect

About 5% of Australians suffer from sleep apnoea. Obesity is proven to be one of the most common causes of sleep apnoea. Sometimes, just a few kilograms lost can hugely reduce the effects of the disorder! Other contributing factors can include:

  • Alcohol: Liquor relaxes the throat muscles, and reduces the brain’s reaction to sleep-disordered breathing
  • Certain illnesses: Reduced thyroid production or the presence of a very large goitre can trigger sleep apnoea
  • Large tonsils: Large tonsils can interfere with the throats ability to relax. This is especially evident in sleep apnoea cases in children, who may not have had tonsils removed yet.
  • Medications: Sleeping tablets and sedatives are known to bring on the effects of sleep apnoea.
  • Facial bone shape: The size of muscles such as an undersized jaw can cause difficulty breathing

How we can help you

It’s estimated that about five per cent of Australians suffer from this sleep disorder, with around one in four men over the age of 30 years affected. Obesity has proven to be one of the most common causes of sleep apnoea. Often the loss of just a few kilograms may be enough to radically reduce the severity of the disorder. Other contributing factors can include:

  • Alcohol– liquor can relaxe the throat muscles and often reduces the brain’s reaction to sleep disordered breathing
  • Certain illnesses- reduced thyroid production or the presence of a very large goitre can trigger sleep apnoea
  • Large tonsils- large tonsils can interfere with the throats ability to relax, this is especially evident in sleep apnoea cases in children
  • Medications- sleeping tablets and sedatives have been known to bring on the affects of sleep apnoea
  • Facial bone shape- the size of muscles such as an undershot jaw can cause difficulty breathing

If you’ve been diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnoea by an accredited sleep centre, Duncraig Dental Care can determine the most effective treatment for you,

One of these options might be an oral sleep appliance – a custom-designed mouth guard that progressively corrects the position of your tongue, mouth tissue, and lower jaw. This treatment will open up your airway passage during sleep, improving the quality of your rest. We’ll monitor your treatment through regular check-ups, where we’ll assess how your breathing improves.

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Do you have a question or concern about your oral health? Our dedicated team at Duncraig Dental Care are here to help.

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We strive to ensure patients are both well informed and as comfortable as possible during their treatments.