If You Snore We May Have a Solution for You
Many people view snoring as a bit of a nuisance or a joke, but it could be a symptom of a much more serious condition which is called obstructive sleep apnoea or OSA. With OSA, people will often cease breathing completely for several seconds a time before breath restarts, often with a loud gasp or snort. This can happen hundreds of times a night leaving sufferers waking up feeling excessively tired even though they don’t know why. This occurs because during sleep the muscles in the throat begin to relax, allowing the airway to collapse inwards, preventing breathing.
People with OSA are often completely unaware they have this condition as the pauses in breath aren’t sufficient to wake them up completely, but will prevent them from having the kind of deep sleep that is so essential for feeling well rested. OSA can increase the risk of having accidents due to excessive sleepiness, and it also increases the risk of other serious health conditions including heart disease and stroke. Common symptoms of OSA include extreme fatigue during the daytime, and you may notice you have a sore throat or dry mouth when you wake up. You might notice you are restless during sleep or have night sweats and getting up in the mornings can be a real problem. If you suspect you or your sleeping partner has OSA, it’s well worth talking to your dentist in Harrow.
How Dental Treatment Can Help
After an initial examination, we can recommend suitable treatment for OSA as often it is possible to fit sufferers with a special type of mouthguard. This works very well for mild to moderate OSA. The mouthguard works by comfortably holding the lower jaw in a slightly forward position which prevents the tongue from falling backwards and helps to hold the airway open during sleep. Often this can be sufficient to help treat this problem.
More serious cases of OSA may require more extensive treatment such as the use of a continuous positive airway pressure device or CPAP. This consists of a small mask that you wear during sleep that delivers a continuous supply of compressed air so you can breathe normally. Sometimes it may be necessary to have surgery for this condition, for example if your neck has a slightly unusual structure. People with large necks are more likely to have OSA, as are those with a larger tongue, tonsils or adenoids. If you have a smaller jaw then this can also increase your risk of OSA.
Can Lifestyle Changes Help?
It can be useful to make certain lifestyle changes. For example some people find it helpful to avoid alcohol consumption, particularly during the evenings and to avoid caffeinated drinks. If you smoke then OSA could be your incentive to quit and it is also worth making sure you are a healthy weight.
If snoring is a problem for you, then it’s well worth contacting Imperial Dental Care to find out if we can help you. You can contact us on 020 8427 2264.