Snoring can be a cause of much frustration particularly when loud and excessive. More importantly though it can be a sign of a more serious condition such as sleep apnoea, where breathing can stop anywhere from a few seconds up to one minute, and occur several hundred times per night.
When you are awake, your throat and neck muscles keep your airway open. If you suffer from sleep apnoea however, while you sleep these same muscles and your tongue relax, and either partially or fully block your airway causing a reduced oxygen level in your blood. This results in an increased heart rate as it works harder to pump oxygenated blood to your brain and the rest of your body.
When breathing stops, the part of your brain responsible for the muscles controlling the lungs registers the lack of oxygen and sends a “jolt signal” causing you to wake-up briefly; breathing resumes and you go back to sleep almost instantaneously, often having no recollection of the event.
The disruption to your sleeping pattern through sleep apnoea can contribute to a myriad of concerning health problems including fatigue, high blood pressure, an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke, depression and obesity.
Although more common in men, women too are susceptible to sleep apnoea and its adverse effects. Being overweight is an important contributing factor, along with excess consumption of alcohol, especially prior to sleep can add to the frequency and length of non-breathing episodes, it will also affect your brain’s natural ‘wake up’ alert signal to resume breathing.
The team from Adams Dental in conjunction with other medical professionals can diagnose the extent of your sleep apnoea and prescribe a suitable solution. This may consist of several different appliances to assist breathing and to keep your airway open. Some options include custom-made dental splints that should be worn during your sleep. They hold your tongue in place and push your jaw forward which assists in holding your airway open.
Call (08) 8212 6335 today to discuss snoring and sleep apnoea treatment at our conveniently located Adelaide CBD clinic.