Snoring is not only a nuisance to others, but it may also be an indicator of a serious underlying condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). This occurs when there’s partial or full blockage of your airway, and your brain registers a lack of oxygen, responding with muscle spasms. It can occur several times throughout the night, causing disruption to deep, restful sleep.
Are you waking up feeling robbed of a good night’s sleep? Does your partner or family complain that you snore?
Who is at Risk of Sleep Apnea?
Although OSA can affect people of all ages, certain factors can increase risks:
- Age – People aged 40 and over are at higher risk.
- Excess weight – An obstruction of breathing can be caused by fat deposits around the upper airway.
- Being male – More likely to occur in males than females.
- Family history – The risk of developing sleep apnoea is greater for people who have family members with this condition.
- Use of alcohol – This type of beverage relaxes the throat muscles.
- Smoking – Smoking can cause inflammation and fluid retention in the airway.
- Neck circumference – The airway may become narrower with a thicker neck.
- Narrowed airway – Enlarged adenoids or tonsils or a naturally narrow throat.
- Nasal congestion – If you have difficulty breathing through your nose, your chances of developing OSA is greater.
Night Guards to the Rescue!
Somewhere between a sharp elbow from your partner and a breathing (CPAP) machine lies a much more peaceful and simple solution: night guards.
Wearing a night guard (dental appliance) is as easy as wearing a sports mouthguard and is scientifically proven as an effective and comfortable treatment for snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnoea.
The main way appliances work is by preventing the tissues at the back of the throat and the base of the tongue from collapsing back into the airway. Sleep appliances hold the lower jaw slightly forward during sleep, opening the airway at the back of the throat which is responsible for the snoring and obstruction. The tongue is attached to the lower jaw, and with the jaw held forward, the tongue is prevented from collapsing back.
Are Dental Appliances Right for You?
At Waverley Park Dental Care we’ve helped many patients (and their partners) achieve peaceful sleep. Contact us today to find out if we can save your sleep, and possibly your relationship!
Save your sleep! →