Snoring / Sleep APnoea

Sleep apnoea is believed to affect millions of people every year, but as it occurs at night while you sleep, people are unaware of their suffering and so it commonly goes undiagnosed. Signs and symptoms include interrupted sleep, daytime sleepiness, depression, morning headaches and frequenting the toilet at night. For many sufferers they will experience gagging or gasping for air at times and loud snoring is common.

Sleep Apnoea results from the tongue and soft palate collapsing onto the back of the throat while you sleep. This collapsing obstructs the upper airway, causing airflow to be restricted, for more than 10 seconds at a time. Your brain signals the body that there is a lack of oxygen and adrenalin is released. You then awake suddenly, this is where you may gasp for breath. Your airway will regain tonus and open, forcing the obstruction in your throat to clear and so your breathing will begin again. This is an obstructive apnoea; the process repeats itself over and over again throughout the night. In severe cases some people can lose breath for as much as 40 seconds over 60 times an hour.

The combination of low oxygen levels with consistent, disturbed, and interrupted sleep can cause the patient to feel exhausted throughout the day, but in some cases the patient does not even know how bad their sleeping habits really are. Thus it is vital that if you have any symptoms you have a sleep study to assess your risk of sleep disordered breathing; as the ill effects of sleep apnoea can contribute to a host of very serious health concerns.


What are the signs and symptoms of Sleep Apnoea?

• Tiredness/fatigue and irritability in the mornings and during the day
• Snoring
• Daytime sleepiness
• Depression
• Frequently waking throughout the night to go to toilet or get a drink
• Regular Morning Headaches
• Worn teeth caused by clenching or grinding of teeth
• Poor memory
• Reflux problems
• Dark circles or bags under or around the eyes

Dental Devices

For those who suffer with mild to moderate sleep apnoea, first line treatment may be a dental device such as a mandibular advancement device/splint (MAD or MAS) which are much like a mouthguard. These appliances work by positioning the tongue and lower jaw which increases the size of the airway during sleep. Our recommended Oral Device is a SomnoDent as it is very well tolerated by patients. The SomnoDent maintains the patency of your airway and thus greatly reduces, or may completely eliminate the snoring and apnoeic episodes.

If you think you or a loved one is suffering from Sleep Apnoea or any other sleep condition and would like more information on snoring treatments please call us on (08) 9385 2418 or use the form to contact us.