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What is the difference between snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea?

Sleep related breathing disorders demonstrate, to varying degrees, the collapsibility of the airway. With simple snoring, there is no full obstruction of the airway – the noise is simply the vibrations of soft tissue. Whilst this often has little impact on the snorer, some do wake feeling unrefreshed, suffer headaches and a tenderness in the upper airway. More often, it is those within close proximity that are profoundly affected.

Too often the sufferer, or their bed partner, are not aware that their dentist can play a large role in the treatment of these conditions and how effective a mandibular advancement splint (MAS) can be.

Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) can result from insufficient oxygen entering the body and poor quality sleep caused by multiple wakings. Effects of EDS include an inability to concentrate, poor memory, reduction in performance and, in extreme cases, can lead to the sufferer falling asleep unexpectedly. Severe sleepiness has even been found to increase the chances of having an accident whilst driving by seven times.

EDS can be a result of obstructive sleep apnoea, a more severe collapsing of the airway in which it is obstructed for multiple periods of time during sleep. Both in the form of a total pause or a significant shallowing of breath, oxygen levels dip and can result in a multitude of symptoms: extreme tiredness, abnormal movements whilst sleeping and headaches to name a few.

What can be done to treat snoring or obstructive sleep apnoea?

The MAS is the most common form of intra-oral appliance used in the management of sleep breathing disorders. Though there are considerable design variations, all MAS posture the mandible forwards with a degree of vertical opening.

It is prudent, however, to eliminate potentially contributing factors: abstinence from alcohol and caffeine during the evening, avoidance of central nervous system depressants and adequate control of co-existing chronic obstructive airway disease (asthma or hypothyroidism).

Our key product for the treatment of snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnoea is the Sleepwell®. It is the most patient-friendly MAS on the market with a success rate of over 80% in fully apnoeic patients. It is also the most technically advanced, used for gently holding the lower jaw forward and to keep the airway open.

It is designed with a customised internal splint fixing, allowing lips to close around the device to prevent dryness and/or excess salivation associated with other splints. High levels of patient comfort meant that during clinical trials over 98% of patients found the device acceptable.

What are the Key Benefits of the Sleepwell® MAS appliance?

  • Internal fixings result in high patient comfort
  • Full-patient adjustment
  • Soft, slim-lined two-piece device meaning full lateral movement
  • Freedom of movement, reducing likelihood of appliance becoming dislodged
  • Mitigates potential Tempromandibular Joint (TMJ) stress
  • Clinically proven and effective

For more information regarding this treatment

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