Sleep apnea Melbourne trouble sleeping

Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Melbourne Dental Sleep Clinic

 

Did you know that 1 in 10 Australians is suffering from undiagnosed sleep apnea? In fact, according to a recent study, it is suggested that the figures may be as high as 49% in males between the age of 40-69, and 62% in males aged 70 and above. So, if you suspect you may be suffering from sleep apnea in Melbourne, then you are certainly not alone.

Sleep apnea Melbourne doctor

Get Help at our Dental Sleep Apnea Clinic in Melbourne

Our team lead by Dr Damian Teo is passionate about helping people suffering from snoring, bruxism, TMJ disorders and sleep disorders – all of which are inter-related with sleep apnea. 

We use the latest oral appliance therapy to treat your symptoms and make sleep apnea a thing of the past. Just imagine how good it would be to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to face whatever each new day brings.

Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening sleep disorder in which a person repeatedly stops breathing. If you’re a loud snorer and wake up feeling tired, even after a good night’s sleep, then it is possible that you could have sleep apnea.

While there are a few types of sleep apnea, Melbourne patients are more likely to suffer from a condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. But what exactly is it?

(OSA) Obstructive Sleep Apnea

This is a sleep-related breathing disorder which occurs either when the throat muscles over-relax, swollen tonsils and/or adenoids impede airflow, or the tongue falls back and blocks the airway.

When this happens, not enough air is being taken in and this can lower the level of oxygen in your blood. As a result, the brain senses that you are struggling to breathe (or suffocating) and briefly awakens you from your sleep so that you can open your airway. Usually, sufferers are awake for such a short time that they don’t even remember it.

However, these awakenings (apneas) can result in loud gasps or snorts and even body jerks which disrupt a person’s sleep. This pattern can repeat itself from 5 to 30 or more times an hour, with each episode lasting anywhere from 10 seconds to 2 minutes. As such, an OSA sufferer will wake up feeling exhausted. A person is diagnosed as having Obstructive Sleep Apnea if they suffer 5 or more apnea episodes in an hour.

Diagram sleep apnea Melbourne
Diagram sleep apnea Melbourne

(OSA) Obstructive Sleep Apnea

This is a sleep-related breathing disorder which occurs either when the throat muscles over-relax, swollen tonsils and/or adenoids impede airflow, or the tongue falls back and blocks the airway.

When this happens, not enough air is being taken in and this can lower the level of oxygen in your blood. As a result, the brain senses that you are struggling to breathe (or suffocating) and briefly awakens you from your sleep so that you can open your airway. Usually, sufferers are awake for such a short time that they don’t even remember it.

However, these awakenings (apneas) can result in loud gasps or snorts and even body jerks which disrupt a person’s sleep. This pattern can repeat itself from 5 to 30 or more times an hour, with each episode lasting anywhere from 10 seconds to 2 minutes. As such, an OSA sufferer will wake up feeling exhausted. A person is diagnosed as having Obstructive Sleep Apnea if they suffer 5 or more apnea episodes in an hour.

Are You at Risk of OSA?

While sleep apnea can affect anyone, even children, there are certain factors that increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea. Any of the following traits could result in you needing to visit our dental sleep apnea clinic in Melbourne. These include:

Excess Weight

or a BMI of more than 25.

Large neck circumference

Having a thick neck (more than 43 cm for men and in excess of 40 cm for women) could mean you have more narrow airways.

Being male

Being born a male can also mean having a higher risk of developing sleep apnea in Melbourne. Men are twice as likely than women to have sleep apnea. However, the risk of a woman having sleep apnea is higher if they are overweight and also seems to rise following menopause.

Being older

Sleep apnea is more common in older adults – 40+ for men and 50+ for women.

Family history

Having family members with sleep apnea could increase your risk.

High blood pressure

Research suggests that 30-50% of people with high blood pressure have sleep apnea. It’s also more common in patients struggling to get their blood pressure down. The good news is that treatment for sleep apnea may lower a patient’s blood pressure.

A smoker

If you smoke, you run the risk of getting obstructive sleep apnea. Smokers are 3 times more likely to be diagnosed with the condition than a non-smoker. The reason? Smoking can increase fluid retention and inflammation in the upper airway.

There are also dental signs and symptoms that can indicate you have sleep apnea. These include:

Crooked or crowded teeth

Crooked or crowded teeth means your mouth is too small to hold all your teeth in a straight fashion. As a result, the teeth “squeeze” together to try “fit in”. If the mouth is small, there will also be less room for your tongue, and hence, your throat and airway.

Dry mouth/Mouth breathing

Waking in the morning with a dry mouth is indicative that you are mouth breathing. People should normally be able to breathe through their nose with their mouth closed. The body only resorts to mouth breathing, if there is airway obstruction, because mouth breathing is alot easier. If you are a mouth breather, it is likely you have a blocked nasal or oral airway. Sometimes your tongue may also be coated with a white/grey film due to mouth breathing.

Broken/worn teeth

Broken or worn down teeth can be a sign of teeth grinding, or bruxism. Bruxism is closely linked with obstructive sleep apnea. Because the bottom jaw and airway is collapsing and blocking the airway, the brain panics and tells the jaw to move forward. In doing so, you clench and grind your teeth, all so you can open your airway to breathe

Tongue scalloping

Scallop marks on the side of the tongue are indentations from the tongue pressing against your teeth. This is normally due to the tongue thrusting forward to open your throat so you can breathe.

Jaw pain and clicking

The jaw joint (or the TMJ- Temporomandibular Joint) can get damaged due to clenching and grinding. A study from 2013 found 65% of sleep apnea sufferers also had a TMJ disorder.

There’s no disputing that sleep apnea in Melbourne is a serious medical condition and the consequences of not getting treatment can be devastating. Day time fatigue as a result of poor and disrupted sleep puts people with sleep apnea more at risk of motor vehicle and workplace accidents. On average, more than 3,000 deaths a year are caused by sleep deprivation.

You may also find yourself quick to lose your temper or feeling moody and depressed. Children and teens with sleep apnea, may also develop behavioural problems such as ADHD, and perform badly at school. Strong evidence also links OSA to other health problems such as:

Type 2 Diabetes

A person with sleep apnea, is more at risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

High blood pressure

Sudden drops in the level of blood oxygen which occur during sleep apnea, increase blood pressure and strain your cardiovascular system. This increases the risk of you developing high blood pressure.

Heart Attack

If you have heart disease, multiple episodes of low blood oxygen could lead to sudden death from an irregular heartbeat.

Stroke

Untreated sleep apnea is also associated with the risk of a stroke.

Reflux

Reserach shows that a relationship exists between OSA and GORD/GERD (Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease). One study suggests that 60% of sleep apnea sufferers also experience GORD.

Is OSA Common?

It’s thought that around 9% of women and 20% of men in Australia have mild to moderate forms of sleep apnea, and that 5% of adults are affected by severe sleep apnea. In fact, in a study looking at dental patients, they found 67% of men and 28% of women had a high risk of sleep apnea.

The good news is that effective treatments are available at our dental sleep apnea clinic in Melbourne and once a person is treated, there is no reason why they can’t lead a normal, healthy life.

obstructive sleep apnea melbourne common
obstructive sleep apnea melbourne common

Is OSA Common?

It’s thought that around 9% of women and 20% of men in Australia have mild to moderate forms of sleep apnea, and that 5% of adults are affected by severe sleep apnea. In fact, in a study looking at dental patients, they found 67% of men and 28% of women had a high risk of sleep apnea.

The good news is that effective treatments are available at our dental sleep apnea clinic in Melbourne and once a person is treated, there is no reason why they can’t lead a normal, healthy life.

sleep apnea Melbourne clinic sleeping man

Diagnosis and Assessment

OSA can only be diagnosed by monitoring and studying a person’s overnight sleep. This can be carried out in a hospital or we can arrange for a study to be carried out in the privacy of your own home.

Many people shrug off snoring believing that it has no connection with obstructive sleep apnea. However, when chronic snoring goes untreated it may eventually lead to OSA and possibly a whole host of other health problems.

OSA Treatment

There are several types of treatment for OSA and we can recommend one that’s best for you.

Here at our dental sleep apnea clinic in Melbourne, we can offer patients an alternative to CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure).

With CPAP therapy, a breathing mask is worn over your face at night which blows pressurised air into the airway to prevent it from closing.

Some patients find this therapy uncomfortable and inconvenient. The machine is also very noisy. As an alternative, we provide state-of-the-art customised oral appliances known as Mandibular Advancement Splints or MAS for short.

How Do They Work?

These specialised dental appliances are made from the latest 3D printed nylon using CAD/CAM technology. Customised to each individual for a perfect fit, they are less bulky and much stronger than other dental splints made from acrylic. They are worn at night just like a mouthguard and work by holding the bottom jaw and the tongue forward. This opens the airway and prevents the soft tissues at the back of the throat from vibrating – which is heard as a snore.

Dental splints are extremely easy to use and because of their compact size, they are also handy devices to have with you when travelling.

Why Treat Sleep Apnea?

Treating obstructive sleep apnea also benefits both you and your partner, enabling both parties to get a good night’s sleep. Without the repairing and restorative benefits of proper sleep, it’s highly likely that your overall health and well-being are suffering.

It’s always best to treat sleep-related disorders before they cause any long-term damage.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

We have treated many Australians just like you and achieved outstanding results. That said, in the event that you are not satisfied with the results we will refund 70% of the oral appliance fee. That’s our promise to you! Read more about it here

Why Visit Melbourne Dental Sleep Clinic for Sleep Apnea Treatment?

More Than Just A Dentist

Dr Teo is a holistic dentist with a particular interest in snoring, teeth grinding, TMJ disorders and sleep apnea. Unlike other dentists, he believes in looking at a person as a whole and seeing how their body relates back to their jaws and their teeth.

He has worked exclusively on sleep and TMJ patients for the past 7 years learning from other professionals in the field, including sleep doctors, surgeons, ENT’s, chiropractors and physiotherapists.

Teamwork

He currently works with a team of other health practitioners (specialists, doctors, nutritionists and physiotherapists) helping patients achieve optimal overall health and not just dental health.

For him, treatment means finding the cause and source of a patient’s problem, rather than simply treating symptoms with a band-aid approach.

Caring and Compassionate

Dr Teo and the team are caring and compassionate about what they do. He is passionate about helping people take control of their own lives and well-being and to live healthy, pain-free lives. He believes he can spread this knowledge through his particular form of dentistry.

If you suffer from snoring, continually wake up feeling exhausted or your partner has witnessed you gasping for breath during your sleep, then don’t delay.If you need any further information regarding sleep apnea in Melbourne then please don’t hesitate to call us!

Call Us Today

Take Control of Snoring and Sleep Apnoea

 

Niddrie: (03) 9068 5316

Armadale: (03) 9068 535

Footscray: (03) 9068 5357