Obstructive sleep apnoea is a condition where the upper airway becomes fully or partially obstructed repeatedly during sleep which cuts off your breathing and starves your body of oxygen. Some people wake up gasping for air, where as others have no idea it is happening but don’t feel refreshed after their full sleep.
Snoring is a potential risk sign for sleep apnoea as it is the vibration of soft tissues in the back of the throat when becoming obstructed. Relieving your snoring will not only solve the noise issue, but it will have great benefits to your overall health allowing your body to breathe normally while you sleep.
Bruxism is the medical term for the act of grinding or clenching your teeth during sleep. Although many studies have been done to discover the true cause of bruxism, it is still unclear of the exact reason it occurs although stress has often been suggested.
The effects of bruxism however is often very clear with severe wear and damage to teeth and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues such as aching pain and stiffness. If bruxism is allowed to continue for too long, damage to your teeth and jaw joints can often become drastic and very difficult to fix. Prevention is the best cure, with custom made bruxism night-guards the first line choice.
Oral appliances for sleep apnoea/snoring are worn during sleep and act to bring your lower jaw forward, preventing the collapse of the soft tissues and tongue from closing your airway. This also helps avoid the common snoring problem as these tissues are less likely to vibrate while sleeping
Oral appliances for bruxism are worn during sleep and act as a barrier between your teeth to avoid irreversible damage.
There are many types of sleep apnoea/snoring oral appliances out there on the market but it is important to have an assessment to find the right one for you. They typically are similar to a small custom made mouthguard which cover both top and bottom teeth and act in different ways to help keep your jaw forward comfortably whilst you sleep.
Unlike the strongly discouraged and unproven ‘off-the-shelf’ appliances, these appliances are custom-fit for each individual with some simple teeth impressions. It is extremely important that the appliances are adjustable as this will allow us to find the correct jaw advancement for you. Over time during your busy lives, circumstances may change, and adjusting the appliance will help with your current situation.
If taken great care of, these appliances generally can last for 5 years or more and for peace of mind, most appliance types come with a 3 year warranty against any breakages or defects. Any new appliances you have made in the future with us after your first one will always be done at reduced costs.
There are certainly private health rebates available for dental extras. Amount of rebates will depend on level and type of cover. A quote can be done at the consultation appointment to determine the exact amount you will receive back on rebate.
A growing body of evidence is supporting oral appliances as an effective and suitable alternative treatment option for people who are unable to tolerate the use of CPAP machines.
Although still regarded as the gold standard treatment for severe obstructive sleep apnoea, CPAP use can be difficult for some people. If you are not using the CPAP machine for the majority of your sleep every night, then it is recommended to try oral appliances as an alternative.
Most people who use oral appliances experience very little or no side effects with therapy. Minor side effects reported have included excessive saliva, jaw tenderness, bite changes or dry mouth. Most side effects are temporary and resolve over a short period of time or after adjustment of the device.
Majority of people who reported these minor side effects also say the massive positive change to their sleep and health far outweighs the minor issues