Dental Sleep Medicine – Snoring, Sleep Apnoea, Teeth Grinding
What’s The Big Deal About Sleep Anyway?
Sleeping is not just what we do when we are not awake. Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial to living a healthy, balanced life. When we sleep our bodies recharge, helping them to recover from the activity of the previous day and get ready to do it all over again tomorrow. If we are unwell or injured, then sleep is even more important for healing. Achieving a truly restful, replenishing sleep every night however, can be harder than we might think.
Commonly missed issues of a narrowed airway can lead to inadequate oxygen being delivered to the body and brain at night affecting the quality of this replenishing and healing sleep-time. A narrowed airway affecting breathing is referred to as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) and can present as teeth grinding (as we move our jaw forwards repetitively to try and open up the airway), snoring, or even episodes of gasping for air. Poor quality sleep will then have knock on effects on how we function during the day and can cause morning headaches, poor concentration and even the need to have a day-time nap.
Treatment of Teeth Grinding, Snoring and Sleep Apnoea
Treating snoring and OSA can significantly improve your quality of life and health. Treatment can decrease your risk of serious medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, as well as improve relationships with those close to you.
We Make The Investigation and Treatment Process Easy
At More Than Physio, via our dedicated in-house clinic Melbourne TMJ & Facial Pain Centre you will be able to consult with all of the relevant Dental Sleep Medicine Specialists needed to diagnose or treat your sleep apnoea. This ensures a more straightforward and efficient treatment plan, with patients able to avoid having to visit specialists at various clinics and then wait for the transfer of documents or medical reports between practitioners.
We know that no two patients, or cases, are the same. That’s why we don’t offer any kind of ‘one size fits all’ treatment plan. Instead we take the time to truly understand our patients’ symptoms and circumstances, allowing our practitioners to prescribe a course of treatment that will deliver swift and lasting results.
Treatment Plans For Snoring and Sleep Apnoea
Our treatment plans range from suggesting proper sleep hygiene habits (e.g. avoiding caffeine at night), sleeping positions (and pillows or bedding that can assist with that), prescribing a Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) or referring for CPAP machine therapy for nightly, at-home treatments. In some rare circumstances, surgery may be warranted. We only recommend surgery as a final resort and would rather provide our patients with non-invasive and cost-effective treatment plans than suggest a course of surgery that does not always help to treat the very root cause of the issue.
Our Most Commonly Prescribed Treatment
Our most commonly prescribed form of treatment is a dental device (oral appliance) known as a MAS, or mandibular advancement splint. This mouthguard-like device is custom-made to fit comfortably into the patient’s mouth, gently repositioning the bottom jaw and allowing for a clear and unobstructed passage of air all night long. According to the Australian Dental Association (ADA), “95% of people will have improvement in the level of their snoring using an oral appliance.”
Why This Can Be A Tricky Process & How We Overcome That
The responsibility for prescribing splints has fallen on the Dental profession. Not all Dentists fully understand the implications on the jaw joints of repositioning the mandible bone forwards. Over-correction or stress on at-risk TMJ (Jaw) structures with a MAS can lead to potential side effects of jaw pain, ear symptoms (aching, blocking, ringing) or even headaches.
At More Than Physio, you will be under the care of our specially trained TMJ & Sleep Medicine Dentist who has experience and understanding of this complex relationship.
What To Expect From Your Initial Consultation
Prior to your initial consultation you will be required to fill in a very detailed questionnaire so that we can get a very clear picture about your issue and the health of your jaw and neck. Your initial consultation will then involve a thorough examination checking your teeth, the jaw joint (TMJ), airways and head & neck complex. A home sleep study may also be needed, which can be referred for from directly our clinic. Results of this are then interpreted and reported on by a Sleep Physician without you having to make an extra appointment to see them.
Through our comprehensive examination process (and with the recommendations of the Sleep Physician if a home sleep study is undertaken), we can then design an appropriate treatment plan, and if necessary, onward referrals to address all your medical sleep needs.
Don’t Delay, Improve Your Sleep and Health, Book Your Initial Consultation Today or Call 9824 8868. For more detailed information click here