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Are you missing out on sleep because of snoring?

Snoring and sleep apnoea prevents a good night’s sleep, however many who suffer with the condition aren’t aware they have it or its harmful effects.

According to SNORE Australia, current figures  indicate around 9 percent of women and 25 percent of men experience sleep apnoea and numbers are set to rise.

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a condition that occurs when a person’s airway is repeatedly obstructed during sleep. Occurring when the tongue and airway-muscles relax, sleep apnoea is commonly associated with snoring.

Other typical symptoms include:

● Waking unrefreshed
● Daytime tiredness
● Waking during the night, choking or gasping for air.

Apart from the obvious reduced quality of sleep and impacts on relationships and cognitive function, those with sleep apnoea are at a greater risk of serious health issues, including death and heart disease, irrespective of how severe the disease is, the patient’s age, or medical history. According to SNORE Australia, it is also associated with increased risk of “obesity, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, type 2 diabetes, depression, mood disorders, and vehicle and workplace accidents.”

So how do you know if you’re at risk of sleep apnoea?

A good place to start is by visiting your dentist or doctor who can help with the initial diagnosis. We examine all contributing factors. Obesity is often associated with sleep apnoea, although it’s not found exclusively in people who are overweight or obese. Other signs are a large neck circumference; if you’re over 65; have a family history of sleep apnoea; if you’re a smoker or consume alcohol; take certain medications; and have particular facial abnormalities (for example, a high, narrow, elongated, soft palate, small chin, abnormal bite or small jaw).

Once a diagnosis about the severity of the condition, we recommend a treatment pathway. As a clinician, I’m please to report today’s treatment options have moved on from surgery, which at one point considered virtually the only solution. Now there are many options available.

SomnoDent®: a simple solution for sleep apnoea

SomnoDent® – a sleep apnoea oral device designed by Somnomed® – is just one solution among the many now available. And it’s one we offer to patients at Dental as Anything.

I can recommend the SomnoDent® sleep apnoea oral device with confidence because I use it myself. And so does my wife. In fact she jokes that the couple who SomnoDent® together, stay together!

This is a legitimate call because snoring can impact relationships negatively, as the sleep of both parties is affected. During my 30 plus years of practice, I’ve had many husband and wife patients complain about the snoring of their other half.

Marketed as a continuous open airway therapy (COAT), the SomnoDent® appliance is a simple and effective treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnoea and snoring. It’s also suitable for patients who find CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy difficult to adjust to.

As a SomnoDent® sleep apnoea oral appliance wearer, I can honestly say it is comfortable, flexible – and it works. Bonus!

Each SomnoDent® device or appliance is custom-made. It is fitted to be placed comfortably over your teeth. Working by moving your lower jaw slightly forward, the appliance helps to keep the airway continuously open.

Here’s what I’ve noticed since commencing treatment with my SomnoDent® device:

● My sleep has improved so I feel more rested when I wake up in the morning
● I feel clearer in my head because I’m getting a better flow of oxygen to my brain
● On the extra busy days in the practice, I find I can keep going without missing a beat
because I’m much better rested.

As for my wife, Angela, she will often take a little longer to get to sleep but is able to drift off to slumberland in ‘quietness’, does not need to resort to wearing ear plugs and feels more peaceful that I am getting a better nights sleep.

I’ve already tried CPAP and didn’t like it. Why should I try the SomnoDent® device?

This is a good question and clearly one which you should ask your dentist. Each patient’s condition needs to be assessed individually and a treatment solution devised according to their specific circumstances. SomnoDent® isn’t suitable for everyone, however even people who’ve found  traditional CPAP treatment isn’t right for them have found SomnoDent® a better and more sustainable solution. Other benefits offered by a SomnoDent® appliance are that with it’s smaller size, it has no requirement for power and it is convenient to travel with. We find patients are far more willing to continue wearing their device too, seeing it as less of a chore than traditional CPAP machines.

Nobody needs to suffer with sleep apnoea. It can be remedied with a range of solutions, including the SomnoDent® device. If you think this is an issue for you – or someone you care about – make a time to speak with us at Dental as Anything. Within a safe and encouraging environment, we’ll work together with you to devise a treatment solution that works.

Dr Mark Miller has been caring for the local Helensvale and broader Gold Coast community for
over thirty years. With knowledge and experience of obstructive sleep apnoea solutions, Mark
and his Dental as Anything team can diagnose and provide treatment options that work for you
in life. If you’re ready to sleep better and feel recharged, let’s book a time for you to chat at an
appointment. Tel 5573 0188 or email us on welcome@dentalasanything.com.au .

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