Sleep Apnea and Snoring Treatment in Melbourne
Get effective, comfortable care for Sleep Apnea without a mask
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a potentially life-threatening sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. People with mild to moderate sleep apnea can now get a safe, restful night’s sleep without drugs or surgery simply by wearing an oral appliance called a mandibular advancement splint that’s similar to a mouth guard.
Oral appliance therapy devices can only be prescribed by dentists. Dr. Lee Sheldon is trained and experienced in the use of comfortable, well-fitting oral appliances to correct sleep apnea issues. The device keeps your jaw and tongue in an open, relaxed position. This prevents snoring and keeps you safe while you sleep.
Recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral appliance therapy for people with mild to moderate OSA who are not appropriate candidates for CPAP therapy or who have not been helped by it. In fact, prominent MD sleep specialists refer their patients to Dr. Lee Sheldon for oral appliances when CPAP doesn’t work for their patients.
What is sleep apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) happens when soft tissues in the upper airways come too close to each other during sleep, temporarily blocking the inflow of air. This causes repeated awakenings during sleep. If the OSA sufferer sleeps separately, or lives alone, he or she may not even know of this potentially life-threatening condition.
There are many causes for OSA. Most are due to structural abnormalities in the skull, face or airways. People with enlarged tonsils or tongue enlargement are especially predisposed to OSA. And obesity can contribute to sleep apnea when fat deposits clog throat tissue.
Degrees of severity
The severity of OSA depends on how often the breathing is interrupted on an hourly basis. As a guide:
- Normal – less than five interruptions an hour
- Mild sleep apnea – between 5 and 15 interruptions an hour
- Moderate sleep apnea – between 15 and 30 interruptions an hour
- Severe sleep apnea – over 30 interruptions an hour.
Left untreated, people with OSA are far more likely to suffer debilitating effects like depression, excessive daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or stroke. That’s why it is very important to be diagnosed by an MD sleep specialist if you experience any of the following sleep-related symptoms.
Common sleep apnea symptoms include:
- Mood changes, forgetfulness and a decreased interest in sex
- Waking up with a gasping or choking sensation on occasion
- Recurrent insomnia or awakenings during the night
- Breathing pauses repeatedly during the night
- Awakening with a very dry or sore throat
- Daytime lack of energy or sleepiness
- Sleepiness while driving
- Morning headaches
- Restless sleep
- Loud snoring
Oral Appliance therapy
OSA is a potentially life threatening condition that you cannot just “live with.” And oral appliance therapy is the next alternative for treatment. Thousands have had oral appliance therapy successfully put an end to their OSA problem. No more machines, no tubes, no masks. Just a simple oral appliance in your mouth that allows you to breathe normally again while you sleep.
One example is the SomnoDent, an oral appliance that treats OSA by moving the lower jaw slightly forward. This movement tightens the soft tissue and muscles of the upper airway, which prevents obstruction while you sleep. SomnoDent also prevents the tissues of the upper airway from vibrating as air passes over them, which is the major cause of snoring. Our office works with other appliances as well to assure that you receive a sleep apnea appliance that is best designed for you.
How it works
Your doctor will take impressions of your upper and lower teeth, as well as information about your bite. The impressions and bite information are sent to a top specialist lab that checks everything for quality control. This ensures a superior fit and optimum treatment.
After quality control, a model of your upper and lower teeth is made in the lab, which has made thousands of similar oral appliances. A custom-made, precision-engineered oral sleep appliance is then made with laser precision to this model. Further quality control is then done and each appliance is checked for conformity with the latest medical standards before being sent to Dr. Sheldon for your OSA treatment.
An alternative to CPAP
CPAP therapy is the gold standard for treatment of severe sleep apnea but many people have problems getting used to their CPAP device, and for mild to moderate sleep apnea an oral appliance may be a better choice.
CPAP machines are often cumbersome and this can lead to patients becoming discouraged. The mask can cause some people to feel anxious. Nearly all patients complain of at least one side effect, and almost half of these complaints are related to the mask.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral appliances for people with mild to moderate sleep apnea who are not appropriate candidates for CPAP.
Silence your Snoring!
It is estimated that more than 30 million Americans snore. Loud snoring is a dream killer for anyone within hearing range. Sleep disturbances from loud snoring can lead to daytime sleepiness, clumsiness, irritability, fatigue and weight loss or weight gain. If you or your spouse is a snorer, Dr. Lee Sheldon can help.
What is snoring?
Snoring is the sound made during sleep when air passes through obstructed airways. When the soft tissues at the back of the throat fall against it, they vibrate. This causes the sound of snoring. Dr. Lee Sheldon provides oral appliance therapy to solve your or your loved one’s snoring problem.
Dr. Sheldon’s advanced snoring appliances are similar to a mouthguard. They work by moving your lower jaw forward. This opens the airway in your mouth and keeps the airflow from being blocked, thus eliminating snoring. Unlike devices sold in pharmacies, Dr. Sheldon’s appliances are custom-made for your mouth and can be adjusted as needed to help control your snoring.
Snoring can be a symptom of Sleep Apnea
Loud snoring can be a sign of a serious medical condition that’s known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA is a condition where breathing pauses repeatedly during the night, causing debilitating effects because of the lack of proper sleep. If this sounds like you or a loved one, you should see an MD sleep specialist.
Get started on treating snoring and sleep apnea
Your first step is a consultation with Dr. Lee Sheldon. He will refer you to a local medical sleep specialist to find out for sure if you just have just a snoring problem – or if you also have sleep apnea. And, if you do have sleep apnea, you will learn how severe your condition is.
If it turns out that you are a candidate for appliance therapy for either a snoring problem or mild to moderate sleep apnea, Dr. Lee Sheldon will explain the treatment and answer any questions you may have. And he can fit you for your oral appliance right in our office.