Sleep Apnoea and Snoring
Sleep apnoea is a condition where you regularly stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer while you are asleep.
It can be mild, moderate, or severe, based on the number of times an hour that you stop breathing (apnoea) or that airflow to your lungs is reduced (hypopnea). This is called the apnoea-hypopnea index (AHI). This can happen many times per night without you being aware of it.
Your brain responds to the low oxygen level in your blood by briefly waking you up from sleep so that you can take a breath. This can have a dramatic effect on the quality of your sleep. You may wake up thinking that you've slept all night, but this may not be the case.
Sleep apnoea often results in tiredness and fatigue during the day and can have a profound effect on your quality of life.
Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnoea
- Your partner may notice that you may make a gasping or choking sound while you are sleeping.
- Teeth grinding (bruxism) can often be associated with sleep apnoea. It is believed to be a protective mechanism to ensure that your body isn’t deprived of air for too long.
- Constant tiredness
- Lack of energy
- Morning headaches
- Depressed mood
- Weight gain
- Frequent urination at night
How does sleep apnoea affect the rest of the body?
Due to the blockage of the airway and the subsequent reduction of oxygen in the blood, the body needs to work harder to ensure that your body’s cells receive enough oxygen. This in turn, puts a burden on your body.
This may be linked to the development or worsening of conditions such as:
- High blood pressure
- Heart Failure
- Weight gain
How do we assess for Sleep Apnoea?
- Self assessment: You may notice that you are tired throughout the day despite having had an adequate amount of time sleeping. You may notice yourself experiencing poor concentration, dry mouth, or bad breath.
- Your bed partner may complain of hearing you snore, grinding your teeth and/or gasping for air.
- At Anokhi Dental, we will carry out an assessment to see if you are exhibiting signs of any sleep disorders. Based on this, we will make appropriate recommendations for you.
Snoring is the sound that we hear when the soft tissues at the back of the throat vibrate while you are sleeping. Snoring may also be associated with sleep apnoea. Simple management with a snoring mouth guard can often be a simple solution.