Sleep Apnoea and Snoring
Do you snore? Maybe you’ve woken yourself up with your snoring or your partner has informed you that your snoring is causing others in your home to have sleepless nights.
Although snoring is a frustrating condition on its own, it can also be the sign of a much larger problem.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea
Sleep apnoea is a serious health condition that can be caused by a number of factors including weight gain, large tonsils, a deviated septum, and even genetics. Males are more prone to sleep apnoea than females, and people over age 40 are also at higher risk.
When you fall asleep, the soft tissues in your throat can relax so much that they vibrate with every breath and cause snoring. They can also relax to the point that they actually obstruct your airway. This causes you to rouse multiple times during the night and prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep.
If your partner reports that your snoring is uneven or that you start and stop snoring abruptly, you should schedule an appointment to find out if you have sleep apnoea.
Other common signs that can point to obstructive sleep apnoea include:
- A sore throat upon waking up
- Daytime drowsiness
- Headaches throughout the day
- Mood swings
- Waking up multiple times throughout the night
A sleep study may be necessary to determine the severity of your condition. Untreated sleep apnoea is linked to numerous other significant health problems including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure
Additionally, the poor sleep caused by sleep apnoea can lead to drowsiness during the day, which can be dangerous while driving and can cause problems at work and at home.
Treating Snoring and Sleep Apnoea
Unfortunately, many of the treatments recommended for sleep apnea are uncomfortable or invasive. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are noisy and can be difficult to get used to, and surgery does not have a very high success rate.
Another option is an oral appliance. This product is worn at night while patients are sleeping. Unlike a CPAP machine, the appliance is comfortable to wear and custom-fitted to the patient’s mouth for a proper fit. It also won’t disturb the sleep of a partner like the CPAP can.
If your dentist determines that the appliance is a good option, you will be fitted for a unique device. The appliance works by moving the lower jaw into a position that increases the space in the airway. This allows air to move freely and reduces the vibration that causes the snoring.
The appliance fits comfortably because it is custom-made to the individual’s mouth. It also allows enough room for small jaw movements.
If you think you might have sleep apnoea or you have trouble with snoring, call our office to find out what we can do to help you have a better night’s sleep.
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