It is estimated 20% of Australian adults snore, causing distress to partners and indicating possible underlying health conditions. If you are looking to treat your snoring we can help you get started. You may have also been diagnosed by your GP with obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring and wondering how your dentist can help you.
Are you experiencing these side-effects of snoring:
- Waking up tired
- Irritable during the day
- Pressures on your relationships
- Separate bedrooms as partners shield from the noise.
- General fatigue during the day
It is also possible your snoring is hiding more serious health problems, such as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA):
- When you are asleep the muscles of your body and your airway completely relax, and the tongue and jaw drop back over the airway. Your airway closes partially or totally stopping you from breathing. This can happen hundreds of times during the night with each period of no breathing lasting between 10-60 seconds. Your brain then alerts your body to wake up so it can regain control and gasp for more air. You then suffer many hours of lost quality sleep that builds up over time, resulting in fatigue and daytime sleepiness. This is called a sleep debt, and it can take many weeks to recover this debt.
- OSA is diagnosed generally by your GP ordering a sleep study, which can be done in your own home or in a sleep facility. We can also organise sleep studies for you, however sleep apnoea is a medical problem and partnering with your GP is essential to successful treatment and accessing medicare and private health insurance rebates for treatment. Your GP can also help you with other factors such as weight loss, as this can also be very helpful in successful treatment.
- Depending on the severity of the sleep apnoea it may be advised to use a CPAP machine or be fitted with a mandibular advancement splint. We are able to provide you with a mandibular advancement splint. Whilst there are many brands available on the internet, the most reputable brand is provided by Somnomed and is called the Somnodent. Other devices can cause you to simply become a mouth breather in an attempt to stop the snoring.
How does a Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) work?
We have partnered with Somnomed Australia to make the Somnodent Mandibular Splint. The MAS is a solid dental device that fits partially over your teeth like a mouth guard. It has a screw mechanism fitted with in the device that helps you slowly and gently move the jaw forward. When a certain position is reached the muscles and tongue are moved forward to open up the airway. If the airway is held open it minimises the vibration of the walls to stop snoring and it prevents the airway from blockage. This should then effectively reduce snoring and sleep apnoea and allow a comfortable night’s sleep.
The Somnodent MAS is custom made for you with initial impressions of your teeth and what we call “George Gauge” measurement. A perfectly fitting device is constructed based on your individual measurements. This is what makes the device more comfortable compared to non-custom made devices purchased online. There are an array of online cheaper devices that can be useful as a practice or trial use, and we often recommend this if you are not sure a MAS is for you. However we stress that these can be extremely uncomfortable, are useful only as a trial, and a custom made MAS is considerably different.
Please get in touch for a consultation and chat with our Brisbane dentist, we also have a great deal of useful information about Mandibular advancement splints provided by our Australian Dental Association and in depth consent and educational material that maybe helpful in your decision making process.
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