Sleep Apnoea and Snoring
Treatment Options and Devices
Our holistic dentistry approach considers the health of your overall body and not just your dental health. This includes the ability to recover during your sleep. We can help you to find the right treatment for snoring or sleep apnoea.
According to the World Health Organisation, an estimated 100 million people worldwide are suffering from Sleep Apnoea.
What are Sleeping Problems?
At night, your body goes through different sleep cylces and stages - light sleep, deep sleep and REM (rapid eye movement). Three to four waves of deep sleep and REM are considered as normal. During your period of deep sleep, your body and brain recover from the daily activities. REM sleep makes up around 25% of your sleep. In this stage, dreaming occurs because your body and brain are energised. Snoring and sleep apnoea both affect the sleeping cycle where the body is supposed to go from one sleep stage to the next and finally reach the REM stage. If you wake up due to breathing problems, your body won't reach the deeper sleep cycles and REM phase. This is why you wake up feeling tired and unrested.
Some of the issues people with snoring problems or sleep apnoea have include;
- Feeling tired after waking up and during the day
- Being grumpy and short tempered
- Lack of focus and ability to concentrate
What is Sleep Apnoea?
Sleep Apnoea means the "cessation of breath" during your sleep. Your muscles relax in the deeper sleep cycles and so does your tongue. This can lead to a drop-back of your tongue so that it closes off the airway. It is more likely to happen when you sleep on your back (supine position).
The duration of sleep apnoea can vary from only seconds off airway blockage to over a minute in severe cases. Your brain then registers the lack of oxygen and releases adrenalin to wake up your body to start breathing. This can happen several times per night and for this reason, people with sleep apnoea feel still tired after waking up in the morning.
Which treatment options do I have if I suffer from sleep apnoea?
There is several options to treat sleep apnoea ranging from conservative management including weight loss, positional therapy and health and sleep hygiene to surgery or oral appliances.
At Gold Coast Holistic Dental Care, we will help you to find the treatment option you feel comfortable with. We offer SomnoDent Oral Appliance Therapy (COAT) and can help you to find the right partner for the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Therapy (CPAP). We also work with a Naturopath and a Fitness & Lifestyle Coach who can assist you on your way to a better night of sleep.
Which Oral Appliances can help me if I suffer from sleep apnoea?
If you have mild to moderate sleep apnoea, an oral appliance might be the right solution to treat your sleep apnoea. The SomnoDent COAT is a custom fitted dental device worn while you sleep that fits over your upper and lower teeth. It is designed to keep your airway open by holding your lower jaw forward. We will custom-fit your device which will make it comfortable, discret and easy to use. We might have to adjust the device to ensure that it is working well. The success of this method varies from case to case and it is hard to predict how well the oral device will work for you.
What alternate treatment options are possible solutions?
For moderate to severe sleep apnoea, the usage of the Continuos Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is recommended. The machine delivers pressurised air through a mask placed over your nose and mouth while you sleep. For a successful treatment, the machine should be used all night every night and be fitted by a professional technician. This ensures that a mask that is as comfortable for you as possible can be found.
Surgery is another option that might have to be considered if there is a distinct obsturction to the nose and/or throat. We will discuss this option with you and refer you to an Ear, Nose & Throat surgeon.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek advice from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.