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Dental Sleep Apnoea

Sleep Apnoea

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Why do people snore?

Snoring is a breathing disorder that happens while you sleep due to the narrowing or total closure of your airway. When you’re asleep, the muscles that control your tongue and throat relax, narrowing the airway and allowing incoming air to vibrate over your top palate, uvula and throat, resulting in snoring.

Loud snoring may be a sign of a more serious problem – sleep apnoea.

What’s sleep apnoea?

It’s a serious sleep-related disorder where the upper airway becomes completely blocked, stopping breathing temporarily, until the brain detects the lack of oxygen and triggers the body to wake and breathe.

The possible side effects

Apart from feeling tired after a poor night’s rest, untreated sleep apnoea can increase your risk of:

  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Hypertension
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Memory loss
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Insomnia.

Sleep study

If you think you have sleep apnoea or have been told you snore, speak with your doctor who can assess and if necessary, refer you to a sleep specialist for a sleep study.

The sleep study normally takes one night and will either be done at your home or in a sleep lab. It will determine how severe your sleep apnoea is and what treatment will work.

If you’re diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnoea, your specialist may recommend mandibular advancement splints.

Mandibular Advancement Splints at Health Partners

How does it work?
The two splints are worn over your upper and lower teeth during the night, and when connected push the lower jaw slightly forward, helping to open up the airway by tightening the surrounding soft tissue and muscles of the upper airway. The tightening of these muscles prevents the upper airway from vibrating and stops snoring.

How’s it fitted?
Your Health Partners Dentist will:

  1. Take an impression of your upper and lower teeth.
  2. Use the impression to create your custom-fitted splints.
  3. Book a follow-up appointment to provide you with your splints and check they fit correctly and comfortably.

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*Independently conducted research by New Focus Research, November 2016.