Sleep apnea is a disorder that sees the throat closing up and consequently blocking airflow, stopping you from breathing. Once your brain registers this, it will wake you up enough to resume breathing again. You’ll then most likely fall back to sleep instantly, possibly not processing that you were awake. For those with mild sleep apnea, this wake-up call may only happen a few times an hour. However, in severe cases, it can cause a person to ‘wake up’ hundreds of times throughout the night, resulting in a very broken sleep.
Broken sleep can cause serious issues, both long and short term. As nearly everyone would have experienced at some point in their life, a fragmented sleep leaves you feeling unrefreshed and drowsy the next day. Daytime sleepiness, irritability, mood changes and a lack of concentration can all be symptoms experienced daily by a person with sleep apnea. These symptoms then significantly affect a person’s ability to function throughout the day, everything from driving to holding a conversation can be affected by sleep apnea.
There are many different causes of sleep apnea, among the more common are obesity and alcohol as well as certain medications, facial structure and nasal congestion. Every person is different, so treatment may be as simple as making some lifestyle adjustments.
If lifestyle changes don’t, or can’t, improve your sleep apnea, then treatment should be sought out. At Greenslopes Dental, we have a specialist available to discuss your sleep apnea treatment. In many cases, a mandibular advancement splint can significantly improve your sleep.
The device changes the position of the jaw and tongue by pushing the jaw bone forwards, which then prevents the throat from closing up. The treatment can improve blood pressure levels as well as other symptoms that would have gradually have taken their toll.
It may be tempting to opt for an over-the-counter option, however, seeing a specialist will ensure that the treatment will be effective. Our specialist can correctly fit your mandibular advancement splint to suit your facial structure, achieving the ultimate results for you.
Contact our team today to book in your mandibular advancement splint consultation.