What is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and how can the Dentist help?

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a condition that disrupts sleep. This occurs as patients with OSA experience multiple episodes of obstructions to their airway while asleep. Each obstruction episode reduces the amount of breathing and thereby lowers blood oxygen levels. In order for the body to re-start the breathing during each episode, patients actually experience an interruption to their sleep dictated by brain signals; whereby an arousal from sleep occurs to allow breathing to start again.

Obstructive sleep apnoea is a serious medical condition that is not only associated with long term health issues such as heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and diabetes, it is also associated with mental and social issues that detrimentally affects the patients’ quality of life such as tiredness and negative effects on interpersonal relationships.

Depending on the severity of the condition, which is determined from a sleep study, sometimes a mandibular advancement device can be of benefit to the patient. Treatment options for obstructive sleep apnoea also include CPAP machine and surgery and each of these options need to be considered based on the individual patient needs and the severity of their condition.

A mandibular advancement device or a custom made oral appliance is regarded as an excellent anti-snoring device and along with CPAP machine; it is one of the two main treatments for sleep apnoea. A dentist can construct the oral appliance to fit an individual patient in order to overcome their snoring, tiredness, and sleep apnoea.

Dr Jia Wen
K1 Dental, Toorak