It’s estimated that at least 5% of Australians suffer from some kind of sleep disorder. The majority of them remain undiagnosed and are at risk of developing further complications. A common disorder is sleep apnoea, and fixing this problem could be as easy as visiting your dentist!
What is sleep apnoea?
Sleep apnoea occurs when your throat walls come together, and block off your airway as you sleep, resulting in a brief, periodic lack of breathing and a drop in your body’s oxygen levels. When you stop breathing, you will naturally wake up to breathe properly again, before falling asleep again and repeating the cycle. In the morning, you’ll wake up feeling tired and unrefreshed, often frustrated by your inability to sleep properly. Days of poor sleep can hamper your concentration at work, leaving you reaching for stimulants and sugary fast foods, and in the long term, sleep apnoea can also lead to the development of diabetes, impotence, and other unpleasant conditions.
When most people experience long-term sleep disturbances, they’ll visit their GP, who will look at factors such as your diet, alcohol, cigarette consumption, and weight. Tackling these issues can reduce the severity of your symptoms, and in some cases, cure your sleep apnoea altogether. If your sleep apnoea persists, your doctor will recommend that you attend an overnight sleep study for your breathing and heart rate to be monitored. In many cases, they will discover that minor abnormalities in your teeth, jaw and bite are causing it – which means it’s time to visit the dentist.
How a dentist can help your sleep apnoea
If your sleep apnoea has a dental cause, a splint will be created and customised to your mouth to ensure your teeth and jaw are placed properly, and your throat remains open and unobstructed. These dental splints are a great option and should be able to help even the most severe sleep apnoea cases. Plus, they are easy to wear and are unobtrusive. As it requires no medication and is relatively affordable, a dental splint is popular with patients. It’s important to remember though, that the only person who can diagnose and treat your dental sleep apnoea is a qualified and experienced dentist.
If you’re keen to overcome that your sleep apnoea and believe you could benefit from a dental splint, book an appointment with The Carnegie Dental Group today.
Related Tag: Sleep Dentistry Melbourne