Rochedale Dental Group

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Opening Hours

Opening Hours

Mon:8am – 5:30pm
Tue: 8am – 5:30pm
Wed: 8am – 5:30pm
Thu: 8am - 7pm
Fri: 8am – 5:30pm
Sat: 8am - 3:30pm

Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

Take our Sleep Disorders Screening Questionnaire here.

Did you know there is a puzzling link between people who snore and bruised ribs. It has remained a mystery until recently when a spouse admitted to the doctor that bruises were from her efforts to stop her husband from snoring. The loudest recorded snorer is 93 decibels that is up there with jackhammers and lawnmowers. Snorers are often oblivious to their own plight can make life miserable for anyone trying to sleep around them, and can be very hard on marriages.

Snoring and its more advanced cousin obstructive sleep apnea can profoundly affect one’s life and is a major problem in the community. It is linked to health problems such as heart attacks, cardiovascular (heart) disease, stroke, hypertension, insulin resistance diabetes, kidney disease, and premature death. However, for the most part it is largely undiagnosed with an estimated 17 - 20% of the population suffering from some form of sleep apnea, and 70% of adult who regularly snore have sleep apnea. In untreated sleep apnea patients motor vehicle accidents have been estimated to be three times more likely.

Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are conditions that occur along a continuum where one’s airway collapses in on itself, either partially (snoring) or completely (apnea) when breathing and thus depriving the blood of oxygen.

Symptoms included:

  • Tiredness/fatigue (unrefreshed).
  • Irritability and moody.
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (whilst sitting, reading or watch TV)..
  • Snoring.
  • Learning, concentration and memory problems (neurocognitive dysfunction).
  • Depression.
  • Headaches.
  • Worn teeth and night time teeth grinding (bruxism).
  • Reduced quality of life.
  • Falling asleep in the dental chair during a fillings and other dental treatment.

Children and teenagers can also suffer from forms of sleep apnoea, where snoring has been found to be associated with poor school performance with reduced blood oxygen at night.

Benefits of treatment include:

  • Waking up feeling refreshed.
  • You and your partner can look forward to a quiet night sleep.
  • Improve quality of life, greater vitality and better mood
  • Greater concentration and energy levels.
  • Reduced risk of heart disease and associated medical problems.
  • Decrease risk of fatigue-related vehicle and work accidents

The treatment of sleep apnea often involves multiple disciplines including dentists, GPs and sleep clinics. The role of dentistry and dentists can play an integral in not only treatment but also screening and diagnosis in the general community. Most treatment options are aimed at keep the airway open so normal breathing can occur. These include:

1. CPAP therapy, where a pneumatic mask is placed over one’s nose and positive air pressure is used to open the airway. This has been found to be effective in moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnoea. However, compliance can be problematic.
2. Dental Sleep Appliance Therapy (Mandibular Advancement splints), is the frontline treatment for snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea. It is less invasive compared with CPAP therapy and surgery, and is generally well tolerated. Mandibular Advancement splints repositions the lower jaw (mandible) forward preventing the tongue from falling backward and blocking the airway.
3. Surgery, either to remove obstructions such as enlarged tonsils, uvula, and a part of the soft palate, or to position the jaw.

Certain life style factors such as excess weight and higher alcohol consumption enhance the risk of obstructive sleep apnoea.

Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are no joke and those who are untreated can suffer serious health and life style problems. Your dentist can help in both the screening/diagnosis and the treatment with oral appliance therapy.