A good night’s sleep is vital for our function and good health. Unfortunately, good sleep eludes many people due to sleep apnoea. And the worst part, is many cases of sleep apnoea go undiagnosed, which means they also go untreated.
Sleep apnoea affects many people in Australia. This sleep condition can have serious negative impacts on your health. It is generally associated with impacting general health, but the reality is, it can wreak havoc on your oral health too.
At our Boon Dental practices in Ropes Crossing and Wentworth Point, we have helped many patients with this condition. This, in turn, has helped them get better sleep, enhance their general well-being and protect their teeth. In this article, we discuss sleep apnoea and how we can help you with it.
A Detailed Look At What Sleep Apnoea Is
In a nutshell, it is a sleep disorder. If you suffer from this condition you will experience the narrowing or partial closure of your airways as you sleep. The result of this is short-lasting, but frequently occurring interruptions to your normal breathing. This causes you to wake up, often with a snort or snore. Sufferers of sleep apnoea can experience this on repeat through the night, often with no recollection of it in the morning.
Whilst there are several kinds of sleep apnoea, the most common we see is Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is when your muscles relax while you are sleeping and your tongue leans against your soft palate, compressing your airway.
This condition can leave you feeling cloudy and exhausted. As it comes with the common symptom of snoring, it can also disturb those who sleep close to you.
If you suspect you have this condition, it’s important you seek treatment. If ignored, it can result in serious health complications, including:
- High Blood Pressure
- Cardiovascular problems
- Depression and anxiety
- Oral health issues
Sleep Apnoea & Your Oral Health
Sleep apnoea can affect your oral health in many ways. For example, there is an association between OSA and gum disease. However, the most common effects of untreated sleep apnoea are temporomandibular joint disorder.
There are many studies that have shown that one’s jaw reflexively clenches to prevent your airway from becoming blocked during an episode of sleep apnoea. This repetitive clenching can lead to a variety of dental issues including:
- worn teeth
- Chipped and cracked/damaged teeth
- loose teeth
- Referred pain when chewing
- tooth loss (if severe and untreated)
Your dentist can spot the signs of sleep apnoea, in fact – they may be the first to notice it. Another good reason to keep up with regular dental check ups. As mentioned previously, many people didn’t know they had sleep apnoea until pointed out to them by a medical professional. Your dentist can help identify this condition and help you treat it before it does any significant damage.
How Boon Dental Can Help You
The good news is that Boon Dental can help you with your sleep apnoea. At Boon Dental, we have assisted many patients with this condition by:
- Helping them lower their risks
- Reduce their snoring
- Improve their sleep
- Safeguard their oral health
A key first step to treating this condition is making lifestyle changes. These may include reducing your alcohol consumption of losing some weight, for example.
Our experienced Wentworth Point and Ropes Crossing dentists work closely with you and your sleep specialist to identify the right treatment plan for you. Based on your specific case, we may recommend:
A Mandibular Advancement Splint
Our boon dental dentists can provide you with a custom made oral appliance known as a mandibular advancement splint. In cases of mild to moderate sleep apnoea, this method can be effective. It is like a mouthguard and assists in positioning your jaw optimally for preventing airway narrowing or closure. A mandibular advancement splint can help protect your teeth and improve your sleep!
A ‘CPAP’ Machine
A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine may be the best treatment option for you if you suffer from severe sleep apnoea. This machine helps by increasing your throat’s air pressure, as well as positioning your bottom jaw optimally. It is worn over your face, providing you with a steady flow of oxygen while you sleep. Although we don’t provide these machines at Boon Dental, we can help you source one.
Boon Dental is here to help you improve your sleep and safeguard your oral health. We have a lot of experience in helping treat people with this condition. At Boon Dental, you’re in safe hands.
If you think you may have sleep apnoea, or just want to rule it out for sure, make an appointment at one of our practices.