ARE YOU GETTING A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP?
Do you often wake up during the night?
Do you feel tired in the morning, even though you seem to have had plenty of sleep?
Do you suffer from sore, chipping, cracking teeth, jaw, neck, tension headaches, especially in the morning?
Does your partner complain of you snoring through the night?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions you may be suffering from Sleep Apnoea (absence of breath).
In this condition when you fall asleep your throat muscles relax, collapse and block the airways, which stops you from breathing. This lack of oxygen puts extreme stress on the body, which may cause grinding at night. Partial collapse of these muscles causes snoring.
Long-term consequences of sleep apnoea are high blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, to name a few.
Treatment options include:
1) CPAP machine for severe sleep apnoea – a mask that covers your mouth/nose at night and pumps oxygen into your airways. Although very effective, it is often poorly-tolerated as can be quite bulky and uncomfortable.
2) Oral MAS appliances – these are mouthguard-type splints that are worn at night. They push the lower jaw and tongue forward, thus opening the airways, allowing for better breathing. These are effective in mild to moderate sleep apnoea and snoring.
3) Surgery to open up the airways by reducing the bulk of muscular tissues.
Oral appliances are usually well-tolerated and preferred by many patients to CPAP machines. Initially they may cause some discomfort in the jaw, altered bite, tenderness in the teeth and excessive saliva. These symptoms are usually fast to resolve.
Many over-the-counter appliances are now available or can be purchased on the net. These are not recommended for long-term use as are a generic fit and may potentially cause problems if not fitting over the teeth properly.
To find out whether an oral appliance would be beneficial, your sleep has to be evaluated first with a sleep study – this can be organised either through our surgery or through your GP. Construction of the appliance will only take a couple of quick appointments, and will then be reviewed on a regular basis.
For more information on how to treat your sleep apnoea, snoring or grinding
call us on 9531 6387 to make an appointment.