Sleep apnoea is a sleep disorder that interrupts a person’s breathing during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnoea cease breathing many times during the sleep cycle. This deprives their brain and body of much-needed oxygen.
Most cases of sleep apnoea are easily managed with custom oral appliances. At Holistic Dental Donvale, we are licensed and experienced to treat sleep apnoea in Donvale and the surrounds.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?
Sleep apnoea is classified into two subgroups:
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): The more common form of apnoea is caused by a blockage of the windpipe, such as a collapse of soft tissue in the mouth or throat.
- Central sleep apnoea (CSA): with CSA, the airway is not blocked. Instead, the brain fails to signal proper breathing during sleep.
More than 1.5 million Australian adults have sleep apnoea. That’s almost 9% of the adult population! Luckily, most cases are mild to moderate OSA, which can be solved with simple lifestyle changes and custom sleep hardware from your family dentist.
What Causes Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?
- There are a number of factors that increase the risk of OSA, including:
- Small upper airway
- Large tongue, tonsils or uvula
- Being overweight
- Having a recessed chin, small jaw or a large overbite
- Smoking and alcohol use
- Being age 40 or older
- Ethnicity is also correlated to OSA. Pacific-Islanders and people of African descent have a slightly higher risk of developing OSA. Also, OSA can run in some families. This suggests a possible genetic link.
Treatment Options for Sleep Apnoea Donvale and Melbourne
Once diagnosed with OSA, your doctor or dentist will help you create a treatment plan. Treatment plans vary because underlying causes differ from person to person. Options may include one or more of the following:
- Weight loss – losing weight is recommended for those who are overweight
- Reduce alcohol use – Alcohol consumption worsens snoring and OSA
- Body position – Snoring and OSA are usually worse when lying on the back during sleep
- Blocked nose – This causes mouth breathing, which can lead to snoring and OSA
- CPAP Device – This is a very effective way to treat OSA. It involves the use of a machine during sleep, connected to a nose or face mask with tubing.
- Oral Appliances – Custom dental devices that are worn while sleeping
- Surgery – Surgery may help when OSA is caused by a discrete blockage of some part of the throat or soft palate. In this case, a dentist would refer the patient to an ENT surgeon.
Oral Appliances from Holistic Dental Donvale
Oral appliances open airways during sleep, reducing the risk that it will obstruct or cause a snore (vibration). Oral appliances have different names, such as:
Mandibular Advancement Splints
Mandibular Advancement Devices
Mandibular Repositioning Appliances
All oral appliances do the same basic job of opening your airways. It is important, however, to have them custom-made. For a custom OSA treatment plan that involves oral appliances, look no further than Holistic Dental Donvale. We are a trusted provider of oral appliances for sleep apnoea in the Melbourne area.