Do you wake up in the morning already feeling exhausted before you get out of bed? You could have an undiagnosed sleeping disorder and not even know it.
Conditions like obstructive sleep apnoea prevent you from getting the deep sleep your body and brain need to function properly. As a result, your body’s metabolism slows down, you have difficulty working on everyday tasks, and you might even struggle with headaches.
Not everyone with sleep apnoea experiences the same warning signs or symptoms. Some of the most common red flags include:
Even though some people with snoring have sleep apnoea, not everyone with a sleeping disorder will snore. It’s important to speak to a medical provider if you’re exhibiting multiple symptoms.
One of the most common types of sleep apnoea is obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) which is caused by physical restriction to oxygen flow. In this case, your oral tissues such as your tonsils, tongue, and throat collapse against one another, sealing off your air supply.
When your oxygen flow is blocked, you tend to routinely wake up and gasp for air. But you might still be in a light enough sleep that you never realise it. Other people may hear you gasp or even stop breathing.
OSA usually affects you every day, rather than just once in a while.
If you have an obstructive form of sleep apnoea, treatment may be as simple as calling your dentist. Since OSA originates in the back of the mouth, specially-fitted oral appliances can naturally improve your breathing. These mandibular advancement devices open your airway to improve oxygen intake while you sleep. No additional appliances like bulky CPAP machines are required.
Only dentists who are trained in sleeping disorders can provide oral appliances, because of the way these devices work. They are not available from physicians or sleep medicine doctors, because they are technically an oral (dental) device.
We can screen for sleeping disorders like OSA during your dental exam. Since many of the symptoms manifest themselves in your mouth, it’s possible to evaluate potential blockage or OSA side-effects at your checkup.
If we suspect you have sleep apnoea, we may recommend a home sleep study. These tests monitor your sleep quality at home, without having to stay overnight in an offsite clinic or sleep lab. As such, home sleep tests make it easier for people to rule out sleep apnoea and gain access to the treatment they need.
If you’re experiencing recurring symptoms of sleep apnoea, we may be able to help. Contact our office today to schedule an exam to learn more about oral appliance therapy for sleeping disorders.
7 STAR EXPERIENCE
Dr. Manish Shah is a cosmetic dentist with a special interest in porcelain veneers, dental implants and Invisalign in Sydney. He is also a medical doctor with an expertise in sleep & craniofacial pain medicine practising at Smile Concepts.