Sleep apnoea is no laughing matter so here at Winchester House Dental Practice in Shrewsbury we want to help rid you of it and improve your health.
Sleep apnoea is far more commonly known as ‘snoring’, and it can cause real problems between couples, and friend and relatives. It can also be detrimental to your health!
As well as a sharp elbow in the ribs, or a kick, and maybe even being turfed out to another room, there can be far more serious health risks.
Sleep Apnoea is actually pauses in breathing or episodes of shallow breathing. This can result in a lack of oxygen to your vital organs.
The statistics for sufferers are alarming, with around 20% of the adult population, and 60% of men over the age of 40 snoring regularly.
Age and weight
Your age and weight play a large part in whether you snore or not. As your body ages, you naturally lose some muscle tone.
This can cause throat muscles to relax, which causes cause obstruction to the airway. Excess weight can also lead to a build-up of fatty tissue in the throat which can contribute to snoring.
Things like alcohol consumption, smoking, and some medications cause muscle relaxation giving the same effect.
Smoking (which we know has absolutely no positive health benefits), also irritates the nasal passages causing inflammation and restriction of airflow.
Nasal, sinus problems and hay fever can have a similar effect, but are more out of your control.
Changing your posture can have an effect on your snoring. Sleeping on your back makes snoring more likely.
Is snoring harmful?
It can be. Sleep Apnoea can cause strain on your heart. Untreated, this can result in high blood pressure and an increase in heart size leaving you at a risk of stroke, heart attack or heart arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).
Results of sleep apnoea
If you suffer obstructive sleep apnoea, you may not realise your sleep pattern is constantly being interrupted, resulting in not getting a restful night.
You may develop a pattern of sleeping lightly in an attempt to keep their throat muscles tight to maintain airflow.
Moderate to severe lack of sleep leads to excessive daytime sleepiness with obvious consequences if driving or operating machinery.
Chronic headaches can occur due to the changes in levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the bloodstream. Morning headaches are a frequent side effect of snoring or sleep apnoea.
So why would I ask the Dentist about my snoring?
Snoring and sleep apnoea can sometimes be linked to tooth and jaw clenching and grinding, so your dentist may be the first port of call for detection of the condition.
Successful treatment relies on a correct diagnosis of sleep apnoea by use of an electronic device (BTI Biotechnologies APNiA®).
This measures things like your respiratory flow, the oxygen levels in your blood, heart rate, body position and snoring.
The device is comfortable and easy for you to use at home to wear overnight. We then study the device here to make a diagnosis using specialist software.
If appropriate, an intra oral night-time splint can then be offered and custom-made to help reduce snoring and further risks of sleep apnoea.
So, what do I do now?
You don’t have to be a registered patient of the practice to benefit from this treatment. So just give us a call on 01743 362326
You will need a consultation in the first instance, and we can go from there. The consultation is £40.
Member since: 10th July 2012
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