Sleep apnoea is slightly different from snoring, and while people with sleep apnoea will snore loudly, it’s punctuated by frequent pauses in breathing lasting for several seconds. Sleep apnoea is caused when the throat muscles relax during sleep, allowing the airway to collapse inwards, preventing the body from receiving adequate oxygen. Eventually the brain registers this fact and prompts the body to start breathing again, often with a loud snort or gasp.
These pauses in breathing aren’t enough to completely awaken the sufferer, but they prevent deep, restful sleep. Consequently, people with sleep apnoea are often exhausted, have trouble concentrating during the day, and are at higher risk of having high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke and other health problems. Treating sleep apnoea helps to reduce these risks.
You will require a sleep study to confirm if you have sleep apnoea and the degree of severity. Mild sleep apnoea and snoring are treatable with a custom-made oral appliance called a Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) that moves your lower jaw slightly forwards, helping to keep your airway open.
Jetty Road Dental Clinic has a dentist with significant clinical experience, along with postgraduate training and involvement with research in this area.