Suite 7, The Gap Village Shopping Centre, 1000 Waterworks Rd, The Gap, QLD 4061 | P: 07 3300 5355 | E: click here


Bupa Dental The Gap

Suite 7, The Gap Village Shopping Centre, 1000 Waterworks Rd, The Gap, QLD 4061
P: 07 3300 5355
E: admin@thedentist.com.au

8.00am - 6.00pm
8.00am - 5.30pm
8.00am - 6.00pm
8.00am - 7.00pm
8.00am - 4.00pm

ParkingFree undercover parking
Wheelchair AccessEasy access for wheel chairs

Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

Would you ever have guessed that there were linkages between people who snore and their bruised ribs? It has long been a mystery until one’s wife confessed to her doctor that her husband’s bruises were the result of her many attempts to stop his incessant snoring on many of her sleepless nights. The majority of snorers are completely oblivious to the severity of their snores, and the disturbance it causes those sleeping around them. Did you know that the loudest recorded snore has been likened to jackhammers and lawnmowers at an astonishing 93 decibels?

Sleep apnoea can be described as the further progressed form of snoring where the walls of the throat collapse and block one’s airway either partially (snoring) or entirely (apnoea), resulting in difficulty to breathe and provide oxygen to the blood.

Severe snoring and sleep apnoea that remains undetected and undiagnosed can severely impact on a person’s wellbeing, as well as affect their loved ones. Currently, it is estimated that 17-20% of our population suffers from some degree of sleep apnoea, and 70% of adults who regularly snore already have sleep apnoea. It is a great misconception that this condition only disturbs sleeping patterns however there are many health risks associated with snoring and sleep apnoea. These include kidney disease, cardiovascular (heart) disease, hypertension, strokes, heart attacks, insulin resistance diabetes and premature death. It has also been estimated that untreated sleep apnoea sufferers are three times more susceptible to motor vehicle accidents than those who don’t experience sleep apnoea.

Symptoms of sleep apnoea may include:

  • Snoring
  • Problems associated with concentrating, learning and memory (neurocognitive dysfunction)
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism) and worn down teeth
  • Changes in moods and irritability
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Sleepiness throughout the day
  • Fatigue or excessive tiredness

Children and teenagers can also be diagnosed with sleep apnoea as poor schooling performance has been linked to the reduced blood oxygen at night due to snoring.

In order to treat sleep apnoea, it requires the collaboration of dentists, GP’s and sleep clinics. Dentistry and the dentists play a vital role in the screening, diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnoea. Treatment options that are available to sleep apnoea patients all aim to ensure normal breathing can occur by keeping the airway as clear and open as possible. These options include:

1. CPAP therapy - where an inflatable mask is used to cover the nose and the airway is opened by the use of positive air pressure. Moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnoea sufferers have effectively been treated through CPAP therapy although some people may find it difficult to continually use.

2. Dental Sleep Appliance Therapy (Mandibular Advancement splints) - a less invasive treatment where the Mandibular Advancement splints draw the lower jaw forward in order to prevent one’s tongue from falling back and obstructing the airway. This treatment is at the forefront for snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnoea.

3. Surgery - generally performed to remove interferences which can include uvula, a part of the soft palate or enlarged tonsils. In some instances, the jaw can also be repositioned.

What you can expect from treatment:

  • Undisturbed sleep for you and your partner
  • Feeling refreshed after a night’s sleep
  • Lowered risks of the associated health problems (as listed above)
  • Reduced risk of fatigue-related motor vehicle accidents
  • Greater quality of life
  • Improved concentration and heightened energy levels

It is essential to note that certain life style factors such as a higher alcohol intake or excessive weight may increase the propensity for obstructive sleep apnoea. Please ensure you visit your dentist for a screening/diagnosis and treatment should you think you may be suffering from snoring or obstructive sleep apnoea.

Click here to take our Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Screening Questionnaire.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding with a surgical or invasive procedure, you should seek a second opinion from an
appropriately qualified health practitioner.