Persistent snoring and disturbed sleep could be a sign of a serious problem called sleep apnoea, but did you realise your dentist can help? Most people have a form of sleep apnoea called obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). It can increase your risk of stroke and heart attacks, may affect your blood pressure, and excessive daytime sleepiness increases the risk of accidents.
What is OSA?
OSA differs from snoring because sufferers will frequently pause breathing for a few seconds or more, multiple times each night. These pauses occur as the throat muscles relax during sleep, allowing the airway to collapse inwards and obstructing breathing. Other times, OSA can be caused by a tongue that is too large or jaws that are too small. OSA is frequently linked to bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding). When you clench or grind during sleep, your jaws tense which sends a signal to the brain telling you to wake up and take a breath.
How We Can Help You
We can assess your dental and medical health for signs of OSA, before recommending the most suitable treatment. Mild to moderate OSA is often treated successfully with a small custom-made oral device worn during sleep and which holds your lower jaw slightly forwards, keeping open your airway. With the proper treatment for OSA, you can enjoy a truly restful night’s sleep.