Bite Dental in Brisbane CBD can treat sleep apnoea in adults and children.
Sleep apnoea affects both children and adults. As the name suggests, this problem occurs when you sleep. However, if you have sleep apnoea you will feel its effects during the day. Although you probably won’t know it’s sleep apnoea that is the cause.
Effects of Sleep Apnoea
Sleep apnoea is a serious—but common—disorder that stops you breathing while you sleep. This happens because your airway is blocked for periods of time during the night. The result is a lack of oxygen getting to your lungs. The blockage is what causes you to either snore loudly and/or make choking noises as you try to breathe.
When your brain realises it can’t get enough oxygen it wakes your body up. But not you. As far as you know, you’re still asleep. Your body, however, has to wake up just long enough to restart the breathing before falling asleep.
Which is why you would—were you suffering from sleep apnoea—wake up feeling like you haven’t slept well. Despite getting a solid eight or nine hours sleep.
What actually causes sleep apnoea
Sleep apnoea has different causes in adults and children. In adults, the main causes are an excess of soft tissue in the mouth and throat.
When you sleep, your throat and tongue muscles are more relaxed. An excess of soft tissue can cause your airway to be blocked.
The symptoms of child sleep apnoea are enlarged adenoids, tonsils, or an overbite. Childhood obesity is not as likely to cause sleep apnoea as adult obesity is.
Symptoms of sleep apnoea
At Bite Dental, we have a team capable of diagnosing and treating sleep apnoea. Some of the symptoms include:
- Feeling tired, or sleepiness during the day
- Pauses in breathing (while you’re asleep)
- Frequent (or loud) snoring
- Waking up with a dry mouth—or a sore throat
- Depression, moodiness or irritability
- Waking up with headaches
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty with memory, or learning problems.
It is unlikely that you would exhibit every one of these symptoms. However, if you are experiencing a combination of these symptoms we do encourage you to visit us. We do appreciate that it’s unlikely the average person would know this problem can be treated by a dentist.
If you are suffering from any combination of these symptoms it is in your best interest to book an appointment with Bite Dental today.
Risk factors that may make you more prone to sleep apnoea
For a long time, it was thought only older men get sleep apnoea. This is a myth. Anyone of any age, gender, weight, or body type can suffer from sleep apnoea.
Some traits which may indicate you have sleep apnoea include (but are not limited to):
- Excessive weight: the more body weight you have the greater chance you have of having sleep apnoea.
- Male: statistically speaking, men are twice as likely than women to get sleep apnoea
- Large neck: since sleep apnoea is when the airway is blocked, a larger-than-normal neck size can contribute to this problem.
- Smokers: smokers are generally more prone to ailments. Sleep apnoea is no exception.
This is not a comprehensive list of risk factors. But they are some of the more common things that make people more prone to having sleep apnoea.
There are two main options for treating adults who have sleep apnoea. The first option is a dental mouthguard. This will help keep the soft tissue out of the throat during sleep.
The mouthguard is good if you:
- Have mild sleep apnoea
- Have moderate sleep apnoea
Dental mouthguards can also be used for those patients with severe sleep apnoea who can’t tolerate the CPAP machine.
The CPAP machine is a great way to treat sleep apnoea. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airways Pressure. To date, it is the most effective treatment for sleep apnoea. However, as some people find it impossible to sleep with, they will opt for a dental mouthguard.
For a lot of children, the answer to treating sleep apnoea is the removal of their tonsils. Typically, the removal of tonsils will get rid of sleep apnoea.
If it does not, Bite Dental also offers myofunctional therapy. This type of therapy helps children to correct functions and muscles of the mouth, lips or jaw.
Sleep apnoea is a disorder that causes one to stop breathing during sleep. The condition occurs when the airway is blocked for periods of time during the night. When the airway is blocked, insufficient oxygen reaches the lungs. When the brain realises that it is not receiving enough oxygen, it wakes the body up in order to restart the breathing process.
There are a number of factors that can cause the disorder. In adults, the most common cause is an excess of soft tissue in the mouth and throat. During sleep, the throat and tongue muscles are more relaxed, and an excess of soft tissues can cause a blockage in the airway. In children, some of the causes of sleep apnoea may include enlarged adenoids, tonsils, and an overbite.
Some of the most common symptoms of sleep apnoea include daytime sleepiness; pauses in breathing while you’re asleep; frequent and loud snoring; waking up with a sore throat or a dry mouth; depression, moodiness and irritability; waking up with headaches; difficulty concentrating; and problems with learning and memory. Although it is unlikely to experience all of these symptoms, it is a good idea to come in for a consultation if you exhibit a combination of any of these signs.
The CPAP devices used for treating sleep apnoea are used in the home and are really quite compact and small, smaller than a shoebox, and so have become far easier to accommodate. You will need to wear a mask that covers your nose which is then connected via a tube to the device. Most patients find that it only takes a couple of days to adapt to using the CPAP and it is a very effective way of treating sleep apnoea. Needless to say, the initial discomfort is worth enduring for a better quality of life.
As we discussed, snoring happens as your airway becomes blocked and it is this narrowing of the airway that causes the vibration in your soft palate responsible for your snoring. Snoring doesn’t necessarily mean that you have sleep apnoea, but it is one of the major symptoms of sleep apnoea. Most if not all sleep apnoea patients suffer from these bursts of oxygen disruption and snoring, depending on its severity, should always be treated as a potential symptom of sleep apnoea. If snoring is affecting your daytime routine, please get in touch.
In terms of sleep apnoea treatment, the CPAP device has shown itself to be among the most effective ways of keeping your airway clear and able to properly allow the flow of oxygen into your lungs. These devices are able to make dramatic improvements to the prevalence of sleep apnoea and are relatively easy to become familiar with. Sleep apnoea can have a massive effect on your health and selecting a treatment option with a proven track record is essential in treating this potentially dangerous condition that affects millions of people.
Bite Dental can help you with sleep apnoea
The Bite Dental team has helped patients of all ages overcome their sleep apnoea problems. If you would like to learn more about sleep apnoea, or to book an appointment, please contact us today.