SLEEP APNEA is a serious disorder and potentially life-threatening.
It occurs when breathing is interrupted during sleep.
60% of men and 40% of women over 40 years of age have sleep apnea and don't know it.
People who have this will
- Repeatedly stop breathing
- Have daytime tiredness which leads to increase in motor accidents. Oh Cripes!!!
Sleep apnea has high associations with :
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
1. Obstructive Sleep apnea.
This is the more common of the 2 and is caused by blockage of the airway, by the collapse of the soft tissues of the mouth and throat.
2. Central Sleep Apnea.
The brain fails to signal for muscles to breathe.
Do you have any of these?
- Choking, gasping or stopping breathing for long periods of time
- Repeatedly waking from sleep
- Feeling tired during the day
- Morning headaches
- Dry mouth
- Night time toilet breaks
- Difficulty in concentrating
WHO IS AT RISK?
Anyone , that's the scary thing! Those most at risk are:
Overweight male over 40 years old
Large neck circumference
Large tongue or tonsils
Family history of sleep apnea
Blocked nose ( deviated septum, allergies, or sinus)
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR MY TEETH?
Well, as you snore , the teeth grind against each other with ridiculously, heavy forces, called bruxism ( a whole other topic to discuss). The cheek muscles the masseters are one of the strongest muscles in the body and transfer the force to teeth. Long term, this may mean :
- Sore jaws and muscles
- Cracked , chipped and worn down teeth
- Future root canal treatments, crowns or even worse, a lost tooth or teeth
Have you ever woke yourself up by snoring? Did anyone ever say you snore?
Get assessed NOW! .
The EPWORTH SLEEPINESS SCALE is used to determine the level of daytime sleepiness.
0 = would never doze or sleep.
1 = slight chance of dozing or sleeping
2 = moderate chance of dozing or sleeping
3 = high chance of dozing or sleeping
Fill in your answers below.
Sitting and reading ____
Watching TV ____
Sitting inactive in a public place ____
Being a passenger in a motor vehicle for an hour or more ____
Lying down in the afternoon ____
Sitting and talking to someone ____
Sitting quietly after lunch (no alcohol) ____
Stopped for a few minutes in traffic while driving ____
Total score = ? (This is your Epworth score) .
A score of 10 or more is considered sleepy.
A score of 18 or more is very sleepy.
If you score 10 or more on this test, you should consider whether you are obtaining adequate sleep, need to improve your sleep hygiene and/or need to see a sleep specialist.
Dr Suzanne is the first port of call to assess your risks of sleep apnea. She works closely with an Ear Nose Throat specialists in Melbourne Sleep Centre and will refer to them if she suspects sleep apnea, therefore a sleep test may be advisable. This is nothing at all to worry about people, no wires or monitors and it is done in the comfort of your own bed. After the test Suzanne will liaise with the ENT specialist to discuss the outcomes and treatment. It may involve:
- Cpap machine
- Specialised night time splint
- Combination of above
- None of above
Somnomed Sleep Appliance
Patients who Dr Suzanne has assessed and treated for sleep apnea, have claimed they didn’t know what it felt like to have a good night’s sleep, until now.
A quick assessment could save your teeth, but also your life! Big huh?
Call us now to book in with Dr Suzanne for your consult (03) 95894472.