Many of us tend to associate snoring with being overly tired or perhaps too much red wine. What many of us do not consider, however, is whether our snoring is symptomatic of something else; a potential health problem.  Your dentist can help with diagnosis and treatment of mild to moderate chronic snoring. 

While most of us occasionally snore, chronic snoring can be a warning sign of a more serious problem - Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA).  (Apnoea is Greek for ‘’without breath’’.) People with OSA tends to stop breathing for short intervals (10 seconds or so) throughout the night and this causes oxygen level in their blood to fall and carbon dioxide to rise. This can happen 20 to 30 times or more each hour, all night long.

Research has shown
 that severe sleep apnoea affects 1 every 3 heavy snorers. Children are known to suffer from this condition too but most sufferers may not be aware of their condition. Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea include;

           Daytime sleepiness and poor concentration due to extreme fatigue
           Memory loss
           Morning headaches
           Gasping during sleep

The side effects of this condition can include high blood pressure, impotence, depression and irritability, all leading to a reduced quality of life. 

Most people with OSA might think they sleep well all night, however their partners may think differently!
  In fact, the partners of chronic snorers sleep an average of 2 hours less than those whose partners do not snore.

A full diagnosis requires an overnight stay in a sleep laboratory.
  However it is possible to screen for this condition easily, in the comfort of your own home.

Wearing a special sleep device overnight, your breathing / airflow is recorded and analysed.
  The device we use, called The ApnealLink, has been proven in clinical trials to be as effective in screening for sleep apnoea as the screening methods at a sleep laboratory, for mild to moderate apnoea.  Should you have a form of sleep apnoea, we will then discuss the type of intervention appropriate for you. 

If you fall into the mild to moderate category we will discuss with you possible solutions or further referral to a sleep specialist.
  We will refer you to a sleep specialist for severe cases.

We will determine whether a sleep appliance will be an effective solution for you. Worn at night and custom made to fit you (it is similar to a mouthguard), the device is designed to bring your lower jaw forward, thus preventing the tongue from dropping into the airway and thereby ensuring you obtain sufficient oxygen while you sleep. These appliances are effective for mild to moderate OSA sufferers plus they are affordable and easy to use.

Ensuring you get a good night’s sleep will have health and emotional benefits.
  Speak to your dentist to learn more about your snoring problem.

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