Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

Snoring is usually considered funny, one of those things people make jokes about…

Snoring happens when the muscles around the airways relax to the point when the air passing through causes vibration that sounds like, well, you know… Snoring.

This vibration seems to have an negative effect on the tissues around the airway, including the carotid arteries which carries blood to the brain. Also, snoring can be accompanied by Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), when the person actually stops breathing!

Many snorers don’t have OSA but most people with OSA do snore. So snoring, according to recent studies, can be a risk factor for stroke; it is also a warning sign for OSA if some other symptoms are also present, such as feeling tired in the morning after waking up, morning headaches, sleepiness during the day.

OSA increases the risk of heart problems, stroke, diabetes and depression. There are different ways to treat snoring and OSA ranging from all-important sleep education, oral appliances – similar to sports mouth guards -, CPAP use and different types of surgery. By the way CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, it’s like a breathing machine with a mask that helps with keeping the airway open during sleep.

In some cases the oral appliance is all one needs, if so recommended by the doctor. If you or someone you know snores and/or suffers from morning tiredness, headaches and appears to be always tired during the day, it is advisable to seek help from the GP Doctor and possibly a Sleep Specialist.

We, at Ballarat Dentists, have special interest in Sleep Medicine and would be able to offer advice and issue these custom-made oral appliances. It has been a rewarding experience for us to be able to help many patients sleep well, and hopefully live longer!