How to Treat Sleep Apnoea?

How to Treat Sleep Apnoea?

Obstructive sleep apnoea is a particularly serious condition that is closely related to snoring. When an individual snores their soft tissues vibrate which ends up in the snoring noise. This is caused by the relaxed muscles making the airway smaller. The air has to travel faster and the soft tissues vibrate. With obstructive sleep apnoea the airway closes completely leading to a pause in breathing. These pauses in breathing can happen many times each hour and put the body under substantial strain. Untreated obstructive sleep apnoea is said to reduce life expectancy by as much as 20 years.

Treatment for sleep apnoea is normally quite simple. The gold standard treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea remains CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). The patient wears a mask to bed with a tube attached that pumps air into the airway and keeps it open. Clearly CPAP can be tough for many patients to endure. An alternative choice to CPAP is an oral device worn in the mouth while sleeping. These oral devices are more accurately called mandibular advancement appliances. They are also called mandibular advancement devices, or mandibular advancement splints, or mandibular repositioning devices.

These devices work by holding the lower jaw forward and thereby maintain an open airway during sleep. Opening a closed airway enough to stop the pauses in breathing is easier than opening an airway enough to totally eliminate the snoring noise. However mandibular advancement devices can do both effectively. They can be used for mild to moderate sleep apnoea, and severe sleep apnoea when the patient can't endure CPAP.

A quick look online will reveal a large number of self-fit devices. These would represent the low cost bottom end of the market. In the middle are the semi-bespoke devices that are occasionally available 'over-the-counter', or can be purchased from a dental practitioner. At the top end are the bespoke devices that can only ever be obtained from a dentist.

The Somnowell mandibular advancement appliance represents the very top end of the market for these kinds of removable oral devices for obstructive sleep apnoea. Each appliance is unique and designed to meet the individuals specific needs. The Somnowell Practitioner will take extensive records that are sent to the Somnowell laboratories that construct each appliance. The records include silicone impressions of your teeth, a soft wax impression of your bite with the lower jaw in the forward position, and lastly a facebow record that records the arc of the lower jaw as it opens. These detailed records help the Somnowell laboratory to make an appliance that's extremely comfortable, small, discreet, and allows the user to freely move their jaw as normal.