Do you suffer from snoring and sleep apnoea?
Snoring is a common problem reported to affect over 30% of the adult population. It is caused by the relaxing of the throat and upper airway during sleep which makes the airway smaller and airflow through it more turbulent. This results in vibration of the soft tissues at the back of the throat when breathing in air during sleep. Snoring progresses to sleep apnoea when this airway obstruction makes it difficult to breath during sleep, reducing the amount of oxygen being delivered to the blood and circulated to the rest of the body. Habitual snorers have been shown to have a higher risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
Signs and Symptoms include:
- Snoring loudly during sleep
- Restlessness during sleep
- Choking or gasping for air during sleep or waking up short of breath
- Feeling tired and irritable or having headaches when waking in the morning
- Feeling excessively tired, drowsy or sleepy during the day
- Falling asleep easily at meetings or while reading, watching TV or driving
Snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnoea can be treated using a simple removable dental appliance called a mandibular advancement splint provided by your dentist. The appliance is worn over the teeth to position and hold the the lower jaw in a protruded position during sleep. This in turn brings the base of the tongue forwards and puts tension on the walls of the upper airway overcoming obstruction. The appliance provides an effective, non-invasive and affordable alternative for the treatment of snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnoea compared with conventional treatments such as CPAP therapy and surgery.
Talk to your dentist, doctor or sleep physician if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms to see if a mandibular advancement splint is suitable for you.