Treating snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) can significantly improve your quality of life and health. Treatment can decrease your risk of serious medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, as well as improve relationships with those close to you.
This can be achieved by the prescription of a specialised splint called a mandibular advancement splint (MAS) which pulls the bottom jaw (mandible) forwards to open up the airways while sleeping. According to the Australian Dental Association (ADA), “95% of people will have improvement in the level of their snoring using an oral appliance.”
The responsibility for prescribing Splints has fallen on the Dental profession. The jaw joint (TMJ) mechanism and how it relates to the head & neck are complex. Not all Dentists however understand the implications on the jaw joints of repositioning the mandible bone forwards. Over-correction or stress on at-risk TMJ structures with a MAS can lead to potential side effects of jaw pain, ear symptoms (aching, blocking, ringing) or even headaches.
Please watch the following video from Channel 7 News on treating OSA with MAS
If you often wake up feeling like you haven't slept you might be one of the growing number of Australians with sleep apnoea. For the majority of sufferers a diagnosis has meant wearing a bulky breathing mask to bed. But now there's a much smaller alternative.More Info: http://bit.ly/2teLnNX#SleepApnoea #7NewsPosted by 7 News Sydney on Sunday, 17 June 2018
What Else May Be Helpful
- CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is a breathing machine connected to a facial mask which covers either the mouth, nose, or both. CPAP works by delivering air under pressure to keep the airways open. CPAP is considered to be the “gold standard” of managing snoring and OSA (especially in severe OSA). However, many people find CPAP bulky, uncomfortable, difficult to sleep with and noisy. Studies of people who use CPAP show on average, approximately 40% will use CPAP, and those that do, don’t even use it every night. People with severe OSA and health issues who can’t use CPAP can still achieve successful outcomes with a customised MAS.
- There is a close relationship between weight gain/loss and the severity of OSA. 90% of obese people have OSA. Studies have shown that reducing your weight by 10% can reduce the severity of OSA by 26%. Weight gain tends to deposit fat around the neck, tongue and soft palate, reducing the size of the airway. However, for some OSA sufferers, it can be difficult to lose weight because their weight regulation hormones aren’t being controlled properly due to poor sleep. In these circumstances, managing your OSA and improving your sleep, can make it easier to lose weight.
- Surgery is not commonly recommended for managing snoring and OSA. Most common surgeries involve cutting away or tightening excess soft tissue around the throat and/or tongue. It is highly invasive, and not always successful. Research shows surgery is only 30-50% effective in stopping snoring.
- In some circumstances, nasal or sinus surgery may be beneficial if the person has difficulty breathing through the nose (e.g. deviated septum, chronic sinusitis, enlarged nasal turbinates). Removal of enlarged tonsils and adenoids can also help in people with chronic tonsil/adenoid issues.
- Snoring and OSA most commonly occurs when people sleep on their back. Due to gravity, the bottom jaw and tongue fall back more when lying on your back. Sleeping on your side, or elevating your head/neck can prevent the bottom jaw from falling back and closing the airway.