Snoring is a common habit and is often accompanied by Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) It is caused by collapse of the soft tissue in the mouth and the tongue and will lead to blockage of the airway and will result in shallow sleep.
Deep stage sleep is important for our energy levels, concentration and overall well-being. A lack of proper deep sleep has been associated with premature ageing, weight gain and even heart and brain diseases. It has also been connected with an increased possibility of car accidents, poor performance at work, memory problem and depression.
Factors that can prompt snoring:
- use of medication
- alcohol consumption
- nasal congestion
- mouth anatomy
During sleep, the muscles surrounding our airway relax like the rest of the body. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, the muscles in the airway relax, along with the surrounding fatty tissues, causing a lack of air flow. This removes us from the deep sleep stage, as our respiratory system tries to work harder to keep our oxygen levels normal. We call this sleep disorder obstructive sleep apnoea, and the most common signs of it are snoring or grinding of the teeth (bruxism).
Bruxism has been traditionally attributed to stress, but there is new evidence that it is actually an effort to keep our airway open during apnoea episodes, by sliding the lower jaw forward. The effects on the teeth and the temporomandibular joints can be severe.
OSA can be recognised by:
- night sweats
- frequent urination and bowel movements
OSA is a medically serious condition and needs to be treated to prevent:
- short term memory loss
- mood alteration
- hypertension ( high blood pressure)
- heart attack
Snoring and bruxism (teeth grinding) are not normal and even mild cases should be treated.
Sleep monitoring apps for your mobile phone are available, these generally track any snoring noises, grinding noises or tossing and turning during the night that may be indicating sleep apnoea. If you suspect that you may be suffering from sleep apnoea, a sleep test is always recommended to determine the severity of the disorder.
There are currently 3 ways of dealing with sleep apnoea:
- Night Lase
- Snoring appliances (mild to moderate cases)
- CPAP for severe cases only.
Oral appliances can be effective as a standalone treatment or as a companion to CPAP for severe cases, by reducing the needed air pressure, as the airway presents less resistance to the airflow of the CPAP.
The snoring appliances that we recommend are always custom made in the laboratory by specialised technicians. An oral appliance fits like a retainer. It works by keeping your jaw and tongue in a forward position so that they can’t block your airway even after your airway muscles fully relax in deep sleep. It will also protect your teeth and temporomandibular joints (the joints right in front of your ears) from the effects of grinding.
NightLase is a laser therapy, fast, patient friendly, and non-invasive treatment for snoring. It has been used safely in USA and Europe for many years, and there was 80% - 90% improvement according to research.
Benefits of NightLase:
- no surgery
- no device to be worn at night
- no postoperative pain after the treatment
- no anaesthesia required (no injections)