Snoring and Sleep Apnoea

Don't just roll over, it’s time to do something!

Whether you are living with a partner suffering snoring or sleep apnoea or suspect you may have some problems yourself, it’s really important to take action.

We all have a giggle at times about the snoring issue, but what is not such a laugh is the profound effects of moderate sleep apnoea that you may not of even realised you had!

Dentists are often in a great position to screen for sleep apnoea and if we suspect issues we can ensure you are diagnosed correctly. The exciting news is that sleep apnoea can be successfully treated and not only will you get a better night’s sleep you will live better by day!

Every patient in our practice is screened for risk of OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. Many patients are not aware of the condition and it is an unfortunate fact that 8 out of 10 people are not even diagnosed.

Diagnosis of OSA is carried out by a sleep physician.

This is such a sad fact as many lives are destroyed by such a simple condition.

If you are tired during the day, snore, need a daytime nap – then its time to act.
Hmmm, yawn, a good night’s sleep can change your life so call us now!

After the diagnosis

Once we have a diagnosis of sleep apnoea or sleep disordered breathing we can go a long way forward reducing the severity.

Risk factors include weight, age, alcohol consumption and face, throat and jaw anatomy. 

From the diagnosis from the sleep study PSG (Polysomnograph) recording, the clinical history including interpreting likely choke points, we can decide with what to best treat you with.
MRA’s (Mandibular Repositioning Appliance) or MAD’s (Mandibular advancement appliances) come in a variety of shapes and designs. 150 different ones to be exact!

We most commonly use Somnomed appliances as they are effective, comfortable and long lasting with great after sales back up and guarantee.

MRA’s help achieve the opening of the oral and even nasal airways to minimise collapse of the airway and improve snoring.

We do a screening to allow for all issues of jaw dysfunction or TMD with our design.

ICAT scans which are amazing 3D x-rays help give us valuable diagnostic input as well.
We take Impressions and a bite and appliances are fitted 2-3 weeks later and checked at a follow-up appointment.

We also use our Pharyngometer and Rhinometer readings to help guide position of the devises to maximise your sleeping airway.

Health Dentistry / Holistic Dentistry

Health and Vitality is the aim of all health services. Prevention and treatment of Dental Diseases, treatment of symptoms and relief of pain is often our patients immediate goal. This is often the key motivator why we may visit the Dentist for dental specific problems.

BUT there is an overall aspect of overall Health that is often not touched upon. This is how your health, vitality and quality of life is affected by problems with our Faces and Jaws.
Dysfunction of the jaws, clicking and face pain can be described as Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome due to alteration in functioning of the jaw joint, the muscles moving the jaws and the nervous system that controls it all.

Unchecked the Whole Body compensates for these problems which can be a root cause for ongoing chronic problems that we often seek help for or take medicines for away from the dental surgery.
Problems such as headache, neck ache, fatigue, tingling, back ache, foot problems can all have their root cause in TMJ or jaw dysfunction. Ear problems, tinnitus and balance problems can have a TMJ component. Ongoing, if TMJ is unresolved the consequence is arthritis of the jaw (DJD – Degenerative Joint Disease of the TMJ) and other ongoing health issues.

Affects to the nervous system as a result of ongoing chronic pain include changes to the nervous system directly, causing adrenal gland overworking and the body being clicked into the “fight or flight” by the sympathetic nervous system mode affecting the whole body from digestion to cold hands and feet to mood changes. Plastic changes in the brain called central sensitization even change the way we feel pain for chronic pain sufferers.

Many chronic health problems may have a TMJ component. Co-treatment with your other health practitioners to an agreed plan will help ease the situation.

These can include problems such as fibrolyalgia, migraines, neck, shoulder and back issues.

Eventually overloading the body’s systems can lead to a very big crash!

In chronic pain (which affects 1 in 4 Australian adults) often root causes of the problems don’t relate directly to where the person feels the pain is coming from – this is why dealing with complicated pain problems involves a good understanding. Dr Scott Robertson and Dr Meetal Shah have a special interest in this area. Both are members of the AACP (American Association of Craniofacial Pain) and Dr Scott Robertson is a member of the Australian Sleep Association.

Our TMD Treatment process is designed as a reversible therapy – no surgery or tooth treatments or orthodontics. Our TMD treatment is typically over a 3 month period – with careful monitoring and assessment over this period to monitor changes and improvements. If long term changes to your teeth are required this is discussed in Phase II treatment after symptoms are stabilised.

If you have problems that are not being solved by normal means – call us, we may have an alternative Holistic viewpoint that can help you.

Clicking jaw / Clenching / Grinding

Your own percussion instrument in-built!

Bruxism or grinding / clenching teeth often causes facial pain or TMJ. Often bruxism is a habitual issue or it may be the outcome of increased stress. You may have even noticed your teeth are worn down as a result or you may have suffered headaches, loose teeth or gum recession. Teeth sensitivity, breaking teeth, wearing teeth and fillings can be an uncomfortable indication.

Either way, we are here to help and with a care assessment of the problems you are facing we will develop a treatment plan.

Not all appliances and nightguards are created equal. Some can make it worse – some don’t consider a root cause of the problem – sleep disordered breathing and OSA. So if you want a diagnosis that takes into account much more than the tapping – call us.

Jaw Pain / Neck Pain / Headaches

You have heard it said what a pain in the neck

The issues associated with sleep apnoea and TMJ can cause pain in other parts of your body. We often find that issues with posture can cause airway problems and vice versa.

We can haggle all day about the chicken and the egg, but what we know is that these disorders can cause a wealth of problems for your overall health.

If you are experiencing either headaches jaw or neck pain you may be suffering from a TMJ disorder.

Even if you are unsure or having other treatment for upper back or neck pain, please flag this to us at your next consultation. You may not even be aware that your problem may be a result of teeth grinding or TMJ issues. 

So if you have experienced face, jaw or neck pain or headaches, TMJ just may be the source of your problems.

We know all too well that the flow on effect of jaw dysfunction, dental disease and craniofacial problems can be debilitating. So call our friendly staff to discuss how we can help you best.

Snoring

Don't sleep with a dozer

We all have a little laugh about the volume of some people’s snoring, however what is not so funny is the life threatening implications of undiagnosed Sleep Apnoea or OSA. So it’s really important to come and see us if you believe you are snoring at night, or dob in your partner if you are losing sleep with their snoring!

A health time bomb for the snorer, the relationship between poor sleep quality and serious health issues is becoming better recognised by health professionals everywhere.

The cause of snoring is related to the soft tissues of the nose, throat or tongue. thing is for certain if you do have Sleep Apnoea it is likely it is affecting your lifestyle from postural issues, irritability and lethargy throughout the day.

Studies have shown the divorce rate of snorers is 10 times the average. Studies have shown up to 60% of middle aged men and women who are snorers have OSA – so if you have OSA you will Snore your way to high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and even an early death! Even increased risk of car accidents and anxiety are linked to this condition. So who’s laughing now?

If you find yourself tired, irritable or even feeling a little depressed please ask us about sleep apnoea. Young mothers know the effects of sleep deprivation – so do Obstructive Sleep Apnoeics!

Mmm, sleep is a good thing!

Sleep Apnoea

While you were sleeping

At Dental Care Mt Eliza we are passionate about your health throughout life and that is why it is so important that we treat you and your family in a holistic manner.

That’s why we screen all our patients for the risk of OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.
As OSA is such a health issue, if you are at risk you will be diagnosed by a specialist sleep physician to ensure that you don’t have this condition and to advise the most appropriate way for treatment.

The field of OSA is relatively new in both the Medical and Dentistry fields; however Dr Scott Robertson has been working together with a specialist team of health professionals since 2007, working to overcome this debilitating issue.

A member of the Australian Sleep Association and the American Academy of Craniofacial pain, Dr Scott Robertson understands how Sleep Apnoea and associated airway issues impact everyday life.

Undiagnosed OSA has serious health effects, including increased risk factors for driving, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attacks, diabetes, anxiety even early death.

At Dental Care Mt Eliza we help treat mild to moderate Sleep Apnoea by the provision of MAD’s (Mandibular Advancement Devices). These help keep the airways open which are partially obstructed during sleep.

When fitted correctly MAD appliances can dramatically improve quality of life for patients in terms of energy, reduction of pain, alertness and a more positive outlook on life. On a personal front we have seen family life dramatically improve by the recognition and treatment of snoring and sleep apnoea.

Call us today to begin your journey to better health at Dental Care Mt Eliza.