Sleeping well helps you have a better and longer life

Protecting Your Oral health

Sleep problems are already a global epidemic that threatens the health and quality of life of more than 45% of the world’s population.

Snoring is common and for most it is not a real problem, but in severe cases it can cause difficulties with personal or social relationships. For some, snoring encourages not resting well and being continually tired. This may be due to the presence of obstructive sleep apnoea.

Not every snorer has apnoea, however every person who suffers from apnoea is a snorer.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) consists of a momentary and repeated interruption of breathing, preventing the passage of air to the lungs during sleep. As the airway closes, oxygen levels drop and stimulate the brain to produce micro-awakenings that force breathing and that severely alter the quality of sleep and prevent adequate rest.

The lack of rest not only has an impact on the quality of life due to the state of fatigue that they generate, but also on health, since it increases the risk of suffering from certain diseases such as hypertension, heart attacks, cardiovascular or cerebrovascular diseases, as well as diabetes.

The gold standard treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea involves wearing a mask that covers the nose and exerts continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). This treatment, despite being the most efficient, usually takes a lot of getting used to, can cause dryness and irritation, as well as being cumbersome for someone who travels regularly.

Dentists have an essential role in identifying sleep problems and can contribute to the treatment of both snoring and OSA.

Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD) are removable splints that position the jaw forward, projecting the base of the tongue forwards increasing the space for air passage.
These devices are highly accepted and tolerated by the patient since they are comfortable and easy to handle, transport and are efficient in reducing the snoring and sleep apnoea.

Do not hesitate to ask your dentist about how they can help you. If you suspect that you have OSA, you should have a sleep test or polysomnography, which is currently the gold standard for studying the breathing pattern, heart rate, and brain activity during sleep, and which will confirm the presence of apnoea episodes and its severity.