As everyone knows, sleep is extremely important, it gives the body time to rest, recover, develop and wake up feeling refreshed and happy. At Brookwater Dental, we are proud to be one of the only dentists in the Springfield and Ipswich areas to facilitate in the treatment of Sleep Breathing Disorders such as Sleep Apnea.

1) What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

When we sleep the body relaxes, as do all the muscles in the mouth, including the tongue which drops backwards. In some people this narrows the airway and causes snoring, as the soft tissue muscles vibrate when air tries to squeeze through.

In Obstructive Sleep Apnea the tongue drops so deep it periodically closes the airway for periods of 10-60 seconds. Sleep Apnea is diagnosed in patients where these episodes occur at least 5 times per hour. In severe cases they can occur over 60 times per hour!!!

Most people with Obstructive Sleep Apnea will have treatable signs such as

  • Excessive Snoring
  • Partner Notices you Stop Breathing/Gasping at night
  • Daytime Tiredness
  • Lack of Energy
  • Poor concentration/memory
2) Why Should it be Treated?

In Sleep Apnea the lungs are not receiving enough oxygen. This causes the body to wake the body to allow it to breath again. Additionally it causes the heart to have to work harder to supply limited oxygen to the rest of the body. Treatment for Sleep Apnea is extremely important as it can prevent long term consequences such as

  • Relationship Breakdown
  • Depression
  • Impact on Career
  • Heart Attack/Stroke
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Increase Blood Pressure
3) How can your Dentist help

As many do not know about Sleep Apnea it is majorly under diagnosed. A dentist trained in breathing disorders can look for signs and symptoms during your regular dental examination. They can then help organise a referral to a Sleep Physician or an ENT who can confirm the diagnoses of Sleep Apnea through further investigation and/or a sleep study.

4) How is it Treated?

Once diagnosed, the sleep physician or ENT will recommend one of the following forms of treatment:

  • Lifestyle – loose weight, sleep posture, sleep hygiene
  • CPAP machine – machines which supply a constant supply of oxygen during the night
  • MAS device – a night guard patients wear which gently pushes their jaw and tongue forward to open the airway
  • Surgery – to remove any blockages preventing the airflow

If a MAS device if recommended you will be referred back to your dentist to have one made.

If you feel you, your child, your partner or any other loved one may be suffering from undiagnosed Sleep Apnea please do not hesitate to call our lovely staff at Brookwater Dental on (07) 3709 3702 and book in for an initial exam. Or if you haven’t had a full exam in a while book in for our Check up and Clean Special and get everything checked at the same time.

Call (07) 3709 3702 for the Springfield tooth whitening specialists at Brookwater Dental.