Snoring and Sleep Apnoea
All clinical work shown in these examples is work completed by Dr Tony Coyne
Though often considered to be no more than a nuisance, in fact snoring can be an indicator of a serious medical condition called sleep apnoea. During the transition from light to deep sleep, the throat muscles, soft palate and tongue relax, partially blocking the airway and causing snoring as air vibrates through this partial blockage.
When this obstruction completely cuts off the air supply, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) occurs. Registering this lack of air, the brain responds with a signal causing partial awakening and a gasp for air, usually with the patient completely unaware of the partial awakening. Sleeping then resumes with normal breathing – until the next episode. This cycle can occur dozens of times a night.
This cycle illustrates how snoring and sleep apnoea contribute to constant daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and poor concentration. Even more seriously, sleep apnoea is related to high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke, and an increased risk of having a motor vehicle accident, as well as low testosterone levels.
A custom-fitted dental appliance can help reposition the lower jaw forward, to keep the airway open during sleep, reducing snoring and sleep apnoea. If you or your partner snore or you have noticed episodes of non-breathing, call and schedule a consultation assessment appointment with us.