What is Sleep Apnoea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is the blockage of the airway while asleep. This airway is generally blocked by an excess or improper placement of throat and mouth tissue and can result in the individual finding it hard to breathe which causes snoring.
Breathing intervals in sufferers of sleep apnoea generally last between 10-30 seconds, and can last up to 1 minute. You may experience gasping or breathing complications hundreds of times per night which leads to sudden decreases in blood oxygen levels.
Because your body will momentarily be without oxygen, your brain will rouse you from your sleep until normal breathing is restored. This results in fragmented sleep which can lead to severe fatigue, sleepiness and stress to sudden decreases in blood oxygen levels.
People with OSA will experience the following symptom
- Frequent Loud Snoring
- Sporadic Periods of silence when airflow is interrupted
- Choking, snorting or gasping sounds (the body forcibly restoring airflow)
How Can Oral Appliance Therapy Help Me?
An oral appliance can assist in correcting your oral posture which will in turn correct the position of your tongue and mouth tissue as well as the position of the lower jaw. This will result in an improved airway passage and improve your quality of sleep. Our dentist will most likely recommend an oral appliance to you if you have been diagnosed with OSA and they will assist you in selecting, fabricating and fitting the correct mouth guard for your needs.
Regular check-ups will be required to monitor the improvement of your breathing and to determine whether oral appliance therapy is the correct line of treatment for you.
It’s important to remember that dentists are not permitted to diagnose sleep apnoea. They can assist you in the treatment of your OSA once you have been diagnosed by an accredited sleep centre.
Am I the Right Candidate for an Oral Appliance?
Oral appliance therapy is recommended for those that suffer from mild to moderate OSA. It can be used as an alternative treatment to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) if your body cannot tolerate that treatment. It is recommended, however, that you try CPAP before opting for an oral appliance.
If you still have more questions, please call us on (07) 4191 4787 or visit the practice at 8/6-8 Liuzzi St, Pialba Hervey Bay QLD 4655.