Snoring is defined as noisy breathing during sleep. It is caused by vibrations of the soft palate, uvula and base of tongue when one inhales. Snoring is a social nuisance. It can be a potential problem especially if it disturbs the partner’s sleep. It can lead to marital problems, irritation and anger at home. Snoring affects approximately 40% of the adult population and is more prevalent in men than women.
Apnoea is defined as absence or cessation in breathing for 10 seconds or longer. There are three types of sleep apnoea.
- Central Apnoea: is due to changes in the control centre in the brain.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA): is characterised by repetitive episodes of partial or complete obstruction of the breathing airways.
- Mixed Apnoea: is a combination of both Central and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea
In Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, the muscles that normally keep the airways open, relax and sag. In an attempt to overcome the obstruction the person breathes harder using the chest wall muscles and diaphragm but the harder the person tries to breath, the more the walls of the airway collapse.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnoea
- tiredness on waking
- sore and/or dry throat on waking
- morning headaches
- excessive daytime sleepiness
- choking or gasping during sleep
- poor concentration
- decreased job performance
- memory deterioration
- decreased sex drive or impotence
Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea may be treated by using dental oral appliances, nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or surgery.
Dental Oral Appliance
Also called Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) is a scientifically proven as a safe, painless, effective and comfortable treatment option for Snoring and mild to moderate Sleep Apnoea. These appliances work predominantly by preventing the tissues at the back of the throat and the base of the tongue from collapsing back into the airway.
This is achieved by pulling the lower jaw, together with the tongue forward, thus clearing the airway at the back of the throat.
Current scientific research demonstrates that Oral Appliance Devices have a 95% success rate at treating snoring problems and an 80% success rate in treating mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.