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Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Treatment

Woman with pillow over her ears next to man snoringDoes your partner complain that you snore loudly? Do you wake up feeling unrefreshed? Does your snoring sends your partner to the spare bedroom? If you answered yes to one or more, you might have sleep apnoea. Most sufferers are males who are often overweight. Snoring and sleep apnoea not only can affect one’s health but their relationships as well.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnoea and is characterised as a blockage in your upper airway while you sleep. This blockage is typically due to the muscles and soft tissue in the back of the throat collapsing during sleep. The result is a narrowing of your airway as you breathe in.

When you can’t get sufficient air, your chest muscles and diaphragm will work harder to open up the blocked airway and draw air into the lungs. The brain recognises this obstruction and will wake you from your sleep in an attempt to open up your airways. This awakening is usually so brief that many people do not remember it occurring.

A less common but slightly more severe form of sleep apnoea is Central Sleep Apnoea (CSA). With this type, the brain fails to transmit signals to your breathing muscles as you are sleeping. So because of an instability in the respiratory control center, you will unknowingly make no effort to breathe for short periods of time during sleep.

Unlike OSA, this problem isn’t caused by a blockage of the airway, but rather a blockage in the communication between the brain and muscles that regulate breathing. CSA is commonly linked to causal illnesses that affect the lower brain stem. This is the part of your central nervous system that controls breathing patterns.

Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnoea

People who have sleep apnoea may exhibit the following:

  • Loud snoring
  • Daytime fatigue
  • An inability to concentrate
  • Poor memory
  • Anxiety
  • Personality changes

What Causes Sleep Apnoea?

Sleep apnoea can be caused by various factors, though the most common risks associated with sleep apnoea are

  • Being overweight
  • Being older than 40
  • Having a large neck size
  • Having big tonsils and a large tongue
  • Nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies or severe sinus problems
  • Having a family history of sleep apnoea
  • Being in menopause or post menopause
  • Smoking and alcohol use

What If I Don’t Treat My Sleep Apnoea?

If you ignore your sleep apnoea, the following could occur:

  • Extreme daytime fatigue
  • High blood pressure or heart problems
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Depression
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Complications with medications or surgery
  • Liver problems
  • Sleep-deprivation in sleeping partners
  • Heart attack

Diagnosis and Treatment

Oral appliances can help people who snore and who have sleep apnoea.

When we sleep our muscles at the back of the mouth and throat can relax too much, obstructing the passage of air into our lungs. For someone with sleep apnoea, breathing ceases repeatedly. A person may wake up many times a night. That’s because the brain transmits a signal to do so due to a lack of oxygen. The person may be jolted awake and the diaphragm contracts. When that happens acid is sent up into the mouth, which can erode their back teeth. Heartburn also results as well.

Oral appliances hold the lower jaw forwards and allow increased space in the throat area and help to prevent the soft tissues from collapsing into the space.

So that the correct treatment is offered, diagnosis at a sleep centre is vital. When you go to a sleep centre you are monitored overnight. You will be graded to determine if we can treat your sleep apnoea with a device that you wear on your upper and lower jaws.

Once you have a diagnosis, pain-free impressions and measurements of your mouth and teeth are taken here at She’s Apples Dentistry and a SomnoMed appliance is made. This mouthguard is created for the upper and lower jaw to stop the lower jaw from moving backwards and obstructing the airway. SomnoMed keeps the lower jaw in an edge-to-edge position so the lower jaw stays forwards.

It takes a few weeks to be fabricated. The appliance is tried at home and is regularly checked by your dentist for fit and function. There may some initial side effects such as excess saliva or too little saliva or discomfort inside the mouth. The side effects are usually temporary.

Results You Can Expect

The results are typically very good, with most snorers snoring less loudly and people with mild to moderate sleep apnoea having less disturbed sleep. Some with more serious sleep apnoea will need to use a CPAP, which delivers air under pressure through a nose mask.

Tips to Manage Snoring

Alter your sleep position
Sleeping on your back encourages the base of your tongue and soft palate to collapse to the back wall of your throat, creating a vibrating sound during sleep. Sleeping on your side may help prevent this.

Lose weight
If you’ve put extra pounds on and started snoring and did not snore before you gained weight, losing weight loss may help.

Avoid alcohol
Alcohol and sedatives reduce the resting tone of the muscles in the back of your throat. The result is you’ll be more likely to snore. In particular, if you drink alcohol four to five hours before sleeping it will make your snoring worse.

Adopt good sleep habits
Poor sleep habits can have an effect that’s similar to that of consuming alcohol. Try to go to bed at the same time each night and get up the same time each day. Also, avoid using electronics for about an hour before bed.


You don’t have to settle for sleeping apart from your partner. Take that first step towards addressing your sleep apnoea and getting the restorative rest you need. Contact us today to schedule a consultation for snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea treatment Sydney CBD.

* Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Treatment Sydney CBD, Park Street NSW | (02) 9264 5333