Has your partner been on to you about your excessively loud snoring or even choking sounds when you sleep? Are you always tired when you wake up and find yourself nodding in and out of sleep? Sounds familiar? Well, you could be suffering with something called sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea has become more and more understood in recent years and people who have been long-term sufferers are finally getting the support they need to live normal lives. Sleep apnoea needs to be diagnosed by your GP, but our dentist in Sheffield can also help with symptoms. Here’s all you need to know about sleep apnoea.
First things first - what is it?
According to the official diagnosis sleep apnoea is diagnosed when the patient is taking longer breathing pauses than 10 seconds while they are asleep. In the vast majority of cases the breathing problems happen when there is tissue in the nose or throat that is obstructing the channel to our lungs - this then means we have reduced oxygen levels and it makes our sleep erratic.
There have even been reports to show that up to 50% of people who snore could be experiencing some degree of sleep apnoea and actually the side effects of the condition go far beyond just feeling a little bit tired. Patients report brain fog, irritability, headaches and constant nodding off. What’s more is that sufferers are also more likely to experience diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.
What our dentist in Sheffield can do to help
We at Sandygate Dental can assist you in finding the right oral appliance that will help to keep your airway clear overnight. The right device holds the lower jaw and tongue ever so slightly forward which will stop the airway from collapsing during sleep and with that will make more room in the throat and mouth.
The appliances used look pretty similar to a retainer or night guard and although it might feel a little weird to sleep in to begin with, we find patients quickly get used to wearing them.
These appliances are custom built to fit you and your mouth, our dentist in Sheffield will make moulds of your teeth and gums and send them away to be produced.
What else can you do?
The most important thing if you believe you are developing or suffering from sleep apnoea is to get in contact with your GP. They are the best place to get all the information and diagnosis you need to move forward.
There are multiple kinds of treatment for sleep apnoea, one of which is a machine that provides a continuous clear airway pressure, which enables your airway to stay open throughout the night. There are surgeries that can be done, however, they are invasive and not always successful and so doctors are likely to edge on the side of caution to find a different solution.
If you’re worried about sleep apnoea or think you have a family member who’s suffering, then please don’t hesitate to contact the practice for support and information.