In adults, approximately 20% of people will snore at some stage in their lifetime. Snoring itself, apart from the social problems is not a cause for medical concern. However, snoring can be an indicator of a serious underlying condition also known as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). This can happen if there is a collapse of your airway, which interrupts breathing and will result in a fall in oxygen levels. Your body will recognise this, spasm and momentarily awaken you to resume a normal breathing pattern. This process can take place many times throughout the night, without you even realising. This means you are not having full deep periods of sleep.
There are a number of symptoms that can be associated with OSA including:
- Snoring or choking during sleep
- Agitated sleep or insomnia
- Awaking with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Falling asleep during the day
- Poor concentration and memory loss
- Mood swings and irritability
- Constant feeling of fatigue.
This condition and other sleep breathing disorders have been shown to be linked to more serious health-related concerns. These problems include high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack. OSA can also contribute to anxiety and depression. Similarly, the effects of sleep disturbance can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, which has been shown to markedly increase the risk of motor vehicle accidents along with home and work-related injuries. There is strong evidence that people with moderate to severe sleep apnoea die prematurely.
At Be Well Dental, we can often provide a solution to patients with obstructive sleep apnoea and assist in developing a normal sleeping pattern. A custom-fit oral appliance can be used to hold your jaw in a more forward position to help prevent the collapse of the soft tissues that obstruct the airway during sleep. For more information, please contact our friendly team on (07) 3846 2002 to organise a consultation.