HOW IS SNORING AND SLEEP APNOEA TREATED BY DENTISTS
Snoring and sleep apnoea are sleep disorders that can have serious effects on a person’s overall health and quality of life. Snoring is a sound produced by vibration of the soft tissues in the back of the throat during sleep, while sleep apnoea is a more serious condition in which a person stops breathing for short periods of time during sleep. It can be disruptive and even dangerous to our health. In severe cases, it can lead to oxygen deprivation and heart disease. Luckily, dentists offer effective treatments to alleviate the symptoms of snoring and sleep apnoea. If you suspect that you may have snoring or sleep apnea, it's essential to seek the advice of a dentist. They can provide an accurate diagnosis and develop an effective treatment plan to help you sleep soundly.
WHAT IS SNORING AND SLEEP APNOEA?
Snoring occurs when there is a partial blockage of the airway during sleep. The vibration of the tissues in the back of the throat causes the snoring sound. Sleep apnoea is a more severe form of snoring where the airway is completely blocked, and the person stops breathing for brief periods during sleep. This can result in decreased oxygen levels and even awakenings during the night.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR SNORING AND SLEEP APNOEA?
Dental treatments for snoring and sleep apnoea aim to keep your airway open while you sleep. A dental exam is essential to determine the cause of your snoring or sleep apnoea. During the exam, your dentist will evaluate your airway and any other contributing factors such as obesity, alcohol consumption, and sleeping position. They will then develop a customized treatment plan to address your specific needs. There are several treatments available, and some common treatments include:
Oral appliances: These are custom-made dental appliances, such as mandibular advancement devices, worn in the mouth to reposition the jaw and tongue to keep the airway open during sleep.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP): This involves wearing a mask over the nose or mouth to deliver air pressure thats keeps the airway open during sleep. This is often the first line of treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea.
Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be required to remove excess tissues in the throat or to reposition the jaw.
TIPS FOR PREVENTING SNORING AND SLEEP APNOEA
Maintaining good oral health is a crucial aspect of maintaining overall health and wellness. Woodbourne Dental can assist you with problems like snoring and sleep apnoea, by providing professional advice and dental treatments. In addition to dental treatments, there are lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the symptoms of snoring and sleep apnoea. These include:
Losing weight: Excess weight can put pressure on the airway and contribute to snoring and sleep apnoea.
Avoiding alcohol before bedtime: Alcohol relaxes the muscles in the throat, increasing the risk of snoring and sleep apnoea.
Sleeping on your side: Sleeping on your back can cause the tongue and soft tissues in the throat to fall to the back of the throat, leading to snoring and sleep apnoea.
Treating allergies and nasal congestion: Allergies and nasal congestion can contribute to snoring and sleep apnoea by blocking the airway.