Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Brisbane | Bracken Ridge Dental

Sleep Apnoea Treatment

Loud snoring and interrupted sleep could be signs of obstructive sleep apnoea

Obstructive sleep apnoea is a sleep disorder that can leave you feeling tired during the day, but it can also have more serious effects on health and wellbeing if it isn't treated.

If you think you or someone in your family might have sleep apnoea or another snoring problem, our dentists in Bracken Ridge could help. We work with sleep specialists to diagnose sleep disorders and recommend suitable treatments to help you sleep more soundly.

To find out more about sleep apnoea treatments at Bracken Ridge Dental, book a consultation with Dr Lydia and our team today. Call on (07) 3261 2405 or use our online booking form.

What causes snoring and sleep apnoea?

Snoring happens when air passes over soft tissues in the throat during sleep. This causes the tissues to vibrate and produce sound when you breathe. Snoring is very common, with an estimated 30% to 40% of Australians snoring at night.

Mild snoring is not usually a problem, unless it disturbs other people around you. However, loud snoring or interrupted breathing can be more serious. These are often signs of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).

Sleep apnoea occurs when the throat closes completely during sleep and air can no longer pass through. The body responds by forcing a strong breath, which may cause the sufferer to wake up choking or gasping. In the most severe cases, this can happen hundreds of times every night.

Who is at risk?

Sleep apnoea can affect people of all ages, including children, but it's more common from middle age. You may also be more likely to suffer from sleep apnoea if:

  • you are overweight
  • you smoke
  • you drink alcohol in the evening
  • you take sleeping tablets or certain medications
  • you have nasal congestion
  • you have large tonsils or a narrow throat or nasal passages
  • you have a family history of sleep apnoea

Controlling some of these risk factors may help to treat the problem.

What are the signs of sleep apnoea?

Loud snoring is not always a sign of sleep apnoea, but you may have the condition if you also have some of the following symptoms:

  • waking up frequently during the night
  • waking up choking, gasping or snorting
  • morning headaches
  • feeling tired or fatigued during the day
  • feeling irritable and prone to mood changes
  • poor memory or concentration
  • reduced sex drive or impotence in men
  • behaviour or development problems in children

What are the dangers of sleep apnoea?

Obstructive sleep apnoea can disturb your sleep and the sleep of other people in your home. A good night's sleep is important for physical and mental health, and losing sleep every night can take its toll. You may be at higher risk of:

  • anxiety or depression
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • motor vehicle accidents or accidents involving machinery

If you're worried that you or a loved one might have sleep apnoea, book an appointment at Bracken Ridge Dental. We'll ask about your symptoms and may arrange an overnight sleep study where a sleep physician can monitor your symptoms and recommend appropriate treatments.

How can sleep apnoea be treated

Treatments for sleep apnoea and other snoring problems aim to treat the cause as well as the symptoms. We will recommend treatments based on your individual experience.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)

A traditional method for treating sleep apnoea is CPAP. This involves wearing a face mask over your nose or your nose and mouth during sleep. This is connected to a device that feeds a steady supply of air into your airways, helping to keep them open and preventing blockage.

Surgery

In the most severe cases of sleep apnoea, surgery may be recommended to enlarge the airways or remove obstructive tissue. However, surgery is not always effective and all surgical procedures involve risk.

Lifestyle changes

Managing some of the risk factors for sleep apnoea may help to ease your symptoms and can sometimes be all it takes to remedy the problem. We may recommend:

  • going to bed earlier
  • losing weight
  • avoiding or cutting down on smoking, alcohol or sleeping tablets
  • talking to your doctor about a nasal blockage or changing medication

Mandibular advancement splint (MAS)

A less intrusive option for mild to moderate sleep apnoea is wearing an oral appliance at night. These are custom made by our dentists to feel comfortable in your mouth. They work by pushing the jaw forwards slightly to keep the airway open and allow normal breathing.