Snoring... w ho s uf f er s ?
Does a chronic snorer keep you or the family awake? Rather than endure the raucous noise any longer, many tired bed partners resign themselves to another night in the spare room or worse still, on the couch.
With today’s busy lifestyles, we owe it to ourselves to get the best sleep possible and wake up feeling alive and refreshed. Snoring is the cardinal sign of a partly obstructed upper airway and can be an indicator of more serious medical conditions.
Dr Greg Reynolds is a dentist who became interested in such sleep and breathing disorders some 10 years ago. So interested, that he went back to medical school and completed two masters degrees, majoring in ‘ sleep medicine’.
These days Dr Reynolds’ entire practice is focused on helping those who suffer from chronic snoring and the more serious breathing disorder, obstructive sleep apnea ( OSA).
Loud snoring followed by a silent period before an alarming gasping or choking episode is the characteristic sign of an obstructive ‘ apnea’, literally meaning “ without breath”. OSA can have serious health consequences by raising blood pressure and disrupting quality sleep.
Worldwide and here in New Zealand, up to 90 percent of OSA sufferers remain undiagnosed and treated. Recent advances mean that this condition can now be successfully treated, relatively simply.
For some patients, a surgical solution may be suitable, but for more and more people a custom- made dental device is proving to be the most effective way of managing chronic snoring and less severe degrees of OSA. These oral appliances, called ‘ Mandibular Advance- ment Splints’, are worn at night and comfortably enlarge the airway and hold it open. Repositioning the lower jaw ( or mandible) forward brings the tongue forward, away from the back wall of the throat and soft palate.
This effect allows one to sleep more soundly and reduces the soft tissue vibration of snoring and airway obstruction.
Although carrying excess weight can contribute to increased snoring, the shape of the face and jaws is often the main cause when the mouth is too small to accommodate the bulk of the tongue. The most common place for airway narrowing causing snoring is at the back of the tongue.
Who else is in a better position to evaluate the mouth and facial structure than dentists with the appropriate train- ing and experience?
Recent medical research has shown that the latest adjustable dental appliances are better accepted by patients with snoring and less severe OSA than the more invasive surgical or continuous positive airway pressure ( CPAP) options. After a comprehensive sleep and clinical assessment, Dr Reynolds will discuss the range of different treatment options available to those who tolerate snoring and sleepless nights.
For snoring and sleep apnea solutions, call for an appointment for you and/ or your partner with Dr Greg Reynolds BDS DipBus MScMed( Sleep Medicine) MMedSc. Phone Somnodontics on 480 2204 for both Northcote and Newmarket clinics. E- mail: info@ somnodontics. com.