Do you suffer from sleep apnoea? If so – your Dentist is the key

Snoring cannot only be an embarrassing problem for some people but it’s also a medical condition that one should get rid of as fast as possible.

Today, there are a host of devices, treatments, solutions and products that are available in the market, but sadly not all of them are effective enough to bring a permanent solution to a problem which can also vary greatly in intensity – with obstructive sleep apnoea perhaps being the worst type that has been identified.

One of the most common symptoms of sleep apnoea is very heavy snoring. The simple dictionary definition of the word apnoea is that it is ‘a temporary cessation of breathing during sleep’, the term originating from ‘apnoia’, the Ancient Greek word for breathless.

As we all know well, it is vitally important to get a solid night of sound sleep; in fact, so important that a person’s overall health and their ability to function effectively during the day depend on it very much indeed. However, when our normal breathing patterns are badly disrupted during sleep, it’s not unusual for a person’s health to deteriorate alongside this.

Although today the problem of snoring is very easily solved for many people, as previously stated, in some extreme cases it can also be a sign of a much more serious medical condition known as sleep apnoea, a disorder that causes a person to actually stop breathing during their sleep.

One of the main indicators of sleep apnoea is that there will be a frequent incidence of abnormal pauses in breathing during sleep, and these can be quite frightening to an observer as each one can last for several seconds. They will happen throughout the night and be repeated many times. These episodes of apnoea are caused by a blockage, in some form or other that occurs within the airway, and this impedes the natural flow of breathing. This is often the fault of relaxed tissue in the throat that causes the airway to be closed – not a blockage by some foreign object that makes this happen.

If you are a loud, habitual snorer, and are perhaps aware of this type of incident through being told by your partner, then you should act to resolve the problem – and not delay. You should get professional help because it will not go away on it’s own. There are easy solutions available.

One main treatment for sleep apnoea is known as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in which the patient is fitted with a device that keeps the airways open during sleep. It’s been proved already that CPAP can reduce the levels of daytime sleepiness and a study from the Oxford Radcliffe Hospital in the UK now shows that CPAP also has a beneficial effect on high blood pressure or hypertension.

But it’s often not popular with sleep apnoea sufferers and that can be a problem. Not only has it been found to deter many sufferers from seeking treatment, but also amongst those who have – many have tried and rejected it for a variety of reasons.

A solution to this resistance is seen to be emerging – particularly in the USA where sleep apnoea has long been seen as a really serious health problem – with the well-earned and appropriate nickname of ‘The Silent Killer’.

The trend has been set by the leading Dental Practices in the USA and it has been found to be a successful solution with many of their patients who suffer from this major and dangerous sleep disorder.

The solution is proving to be the Custom snoring mouthpiece as OSA sufferers simply accept it far more readily – and although not the ultimate in OSA treatment, which is always regarded as CPAP, this makes for a sensible alternative. After all – without it – you will remain totally untreated.

The following statement is by a leading Chicago Dental Practitioner but his point of view is widely voiced and accepted throughout the USA and Canada – and is now being followed and recommended as a treatment and solution by some leading UK Dental Practices.

“If you or a family member is aware of a snoring problem, a custom snore guard can be made to help reduce or eliminate snoring woes”.

“They resemble an athletic mouth guard, worn by many sportsmen, which is a small oral appliance worn during sleep to reduce snoring by moving the jaw forward and preventing the tongue from closing off the air passage. With your air passage open and unobstructed, snoring is greatly reduced which results in a quiet, restful sleep for you and the members of your household.”

A few minutes time with your Dentist will set you on the way to safeguard your health and eliminate many of your possible future problems.

Many sleep apnoea patients go undiagnosed – thought to be as many as 80%. OSA is well known to be closely related to diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and even possibly some forms of Cancer. Recent research has also shown close links to Alzheimer’s disease.

Discuss a Custom Mouthpiece with your Dentist. They are readily and quickly available from specialists such as SleepPro, via your Dentist, who can quickly organize an efficient, comfortable, well-fitted mouthpiece for you. It’s a very simple, inexpensive, and known effective solution to your sleep disorder and what may eventually prove to be a highly dangerous health problem.

By John Redfern