Snoring and Sleep Apnoea
DENTAL MANAGEMENT OF SNORING & SLEEP APNOEA
Snoring can be a real nuisance. It may start off in a small way but if left untreated can become obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), which will have a serious impact on your health and the people you live with.
Why does a person snore?
Whenever there is an obstruction in the airway, full or partial, it causes vibration of air when it is breathed in and out. There may be repeated episodes of these obstructions caused during sleep because of abnormal relaxation of the airway, muscles and the tongue. One in every five people have OSA and 80% of them go undiagnosed.
What are the common symptoms that one may look for?
Waking up not feeling fresh, snoring, waking at night gasping for air, drowsiness, dry throat upon waking, experiencing fatigue during the day, amongst others.
In the long term, OSA can be a life-threatening condition. The sufferer is prone to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, brain degeneration, kidney problems, high blood pressure, psychosocial problems and metabolic problems. The person is also seven times more at risk of heart disease and death regardless of severity, heart health or age. When the correct treatment regimen is employed, the risk levels are lowered.
Suspected OSA calls for a complete investigation from a specialist. Mild cases may be managed with the help of a dental appliance. Severe cases may be managed with the help of using a C-PAP machine that is used during sleep to ensure that only the right amount of air goes into the airway and lungs.
You need to approach a dentist who has experience in treating sleep breathing disorders and is well trained in that specific area. They will be able to diagnose, treat and offer better management solutions for OSA. The diagnosis has to be done by a specialist diagnostic sleep study. However, an ENT specialist may also get involved to treat for better results.
In case you are diagnosed with OSA, a 3D x-ray is taken which will assist in the assessment of the airways. It has to be a collective effort of the ENT surgeon and the respiratory physician who can together ascertain the reason for obstruction and later offer the appropriate dental, medical, surgical or orthodontic treatment.
At Clear Choice Dental we offer individualised treatment solutions so you can be assured that we will take your individual case into consideration and offer solutions that are relevant to you alone. We do not follow a ‘one size fits all’ philosophy. Whatever we do, will be in the best interest of preserving and bettering your health.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, we encourage you to discuss these matters with an appropriately qualified health practitioner.