Snoring & Sleep Apnoea

What Causes Snoring?

Snoring is estimated to affect 34% of adults and is typically caused by poor muscle tone in the throat and tongue. During sleep the muscles relax causing the tongue to fall backwards towards the throat, restricting the airway. A lack of muscle tone in the throat allows the soft tissues to vibrate, causing that characteristic snoring sound. Habitual snoring isn’t something to be ignored and could be a sign of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), a condition that can cause high blood pressure and even heart disease.

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?

OSA is a potentially serious condition that interrupts breathing many times a night. Sufferers will often cease breathing for several seconds only to begin again with a loud gasp or snort. Interrupted breathing can lead to excesses daytime sleepiness. OSA is more likely to affect middle-aged men than women and other risk factors include being overweight, having high blood pressure, having risk factors for heart failure or stroke and being a smoker.

How Is Sleep Apnoea Diagnosed?

Our dentists at Maroubra Junction Dental Centre may choose to refer you to a sleep centre for a more thorough diagnosis. This tests various functions including blood oxygen levels, airflow and breathing patterns while you sleep.

How Is Sleep Apnoea Treated?

Sleep apnoea can be treated in various ways depending on the severity of the condition. Mild to moderate sleep apnoea can often be relieved with the use of a custom-made dental appliance that helps bring the jaw forward, preventing the tongue from falling backwards and blocking the throat.

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