Do you snore loudly or stop breathing in your sleep? These could be signs of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) or another snoring problem. As well as disturbing your rest and that of other people, sleep disorders can also increase your risk of developing serious health problems.
If you think you might have a sleep disorder and want to find a way to stop snoring, our dentists in Sydney's North Shore might be able to help you. Depending on what's causing your sleep disturbance, we may recommend making changes to your bedtime routine or treatments such as a sleep apnoea mouth guard or CPAP therapy.
Normal snoring happens when there's an obstruction in the throat or nasal passages during sleep. The tissues of your nose, mouth or throat vibrate when you breathe in and out, creating the snoring sound.
OSA occurs when the airways are blocked completely, restricting your breathing. The body responds by making the throat muscles spasm to clear the blockage and resume normal breathing. This can have the effect of waking you up with a start and gasping for breath.
Interruptions in sleep can last between 10 seconds and one minute each time. It's considered normal for sleep to be disturbed up to five times per hour, but more frequent interruptions can indicate mild sleep apnoea. More than 30 interruptions per hour is considered severe sleep apnoea, with some people's sleep being disturbed hundreds of times per night.
OSA is always a cause for concern, as it can have serious and long-term effects on health and wellbeing.
You might have obstructive sleep apnoea if you have some of the following common symptoms:
If you or someone in your family has several of these symptoms, you should book a consultation with your doctor or dentist to get a diagnosis and discuss appropriate treatment options.
At Sailors Bay Dentistry, our dentists are experienced in spotting possible signs of sleep problems. We may also refer you to a sleep specialist to complete an overnight sleep study that should give us the information we need to help us create your personalised treatment plan.
Call (02) 9958 0400 to arrange a consultation with our dentists or discuss your options for snoring treatment in Northbridge, Sydney.
OSA can affect people of all ages, including children, but it's more common in men over the age of 30. Some risk factors are unavoidable, while others may be managed by giving up bad habits or making other changes to your lifestyle to lower your risk.
You're more likely to experience sleep apnoea if:
If we can determine the probable cause of your OSA, this will help our dentists to recommend a treatment for snoring that addresses the root cause as well as your symptoms.
A good night's sleep is vital for overall health and wellbeing. If your sleep is disturbed frequently, you'll spend less time in the state of deep sleep that's important for helping your mind and body to feel rested. This can have serious knock-on effects during the day, which can become worse if you continue to sleep poorly every night.
If you feel tired and have trouble concentrating, you'll be at higher risk of accidents that could lead to serious injuries or even death, especially if you're operating a vehicle or machinery. Severe OSA is also linked to an increased risk of health problems including high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and cancer.
The longer OSA is left untreated, the longer your health will be at risk. OSA can also affect the health and wellbeing of other people you live with if they're disturbed by your snoring or choking at night. You should talk to a dentist or other health professional as soon as possible if you think that you or someone in your family might be at risk.
If you're diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea or another sleep disorder, we'll discuss the most appropriate treatment to help prevent snoring and improve your breathing during sleep. This will depend on the cause and severity of your condition.
At Sailors Bay Dentistry in Northbridge, sleep apnoea and snoring treatment may involve one or more of the following:
If you snore when you sleep on your back, sleeping on your side can sometimes be all it takes to relieve or reduce the severity of sleep apnoea symptoms.
If your OSA is caused or worsened by certain lifestyle factors, we may recommend that you try to lose weight, avoid alcohol, tobacco or sleeping pills, or try to establish a regular night time routine to encourage a more restful sleep.
If your OSA may be related to another health problem, this should be treated as a priority. This may include treatments to increase thyroid hormone production or clear a sinus infection or the removal of large tonsils in children.
If changing your habits doesn't alleviate the problem, we may recommend a mandibular advancement splint (MAS). A type of sleep apnoea mouth guard, this oral appliance is custom made by our Northbridge dentists to fit your mouth and should be worn at night. It pushes the jaw slightly forwards to hold the throat open and stop the tongue from blocking the airway, helping you to breathe more easily through the night.
To find out more about the pros and cons of a mouth guard for sleep apnoea from a dentist in Sydney's North Shore, call our team on (02) 9958 0400.
An alternative to oral appliances, CPAP therapy prevents airways from closing by supplying constant air pressure through a mask worn over the mouth and nose. CPAP treatment may be recommended for more severe sleep apnoea cases after you've completed an overnight sleep study.
Many people with OSA have found success through CPAP therapy, but others find the treatment uncomfortable and may find it hard to fall asleep with the sound produced by the machine.
If oversized or loose tissues are blocking your throat and other airways, and other treatments aren't successful, surgery may be needed to remove the obstruction or move the jaw forwards to open the airway.
All surgical procedures involve risks. Your surgeon will make sure you understand the possible complications and side-effects before you agree to any treatment.
The cost of snoring and sleep apnoea treatment depends on the type of treatment you have, how severe the condition is and other factors, such as whether you need an overnight sleep study or consultation with a sleep specialist. We can give you a quote for mandibular advancement splint cost at your consultation, so you'll have an idea of what to expect.
You may be able to claim part of your treatment on your health fund. We also offer flexible finance plans to help you break down the cost of a mouth guard for sleep apnoea and other expenses into more manageable payments.
If you think you might have obstructive sleep apnoea or another snoring problem, schedule an appointment with our North Shore dentists. We'll aim to track down the cause of your sleeping problem and can recommend effective treatments to help you and your family sleep more soundly.
Call (02) 9958 0400 or contact us to discuss Northbridge sleep apnoea and snoring treatments today. Our sleep apnoea treatment specialists also cover the following suburbs: Castlecrag, Naremburn, Chatswood, Artarmon, Crows Nest and Lane Cove.
Along with Dental Care Network™ we are offering the Corporate Dental Program, a zero-cost, zero-admin employee benefit scheme which provides you with exclusive benefits for dental treatment if you are an employee of one of our partnered corporate programs.