Management of sleep aponea is one of Beacon Dental’s special areas of expertise.
Dr Edward Owens, B.A., B.Dent Sc., M.S.D., F.A.C.P, is regarded as an expert in the treatment of sleep aponea and is highly regarded in the field of Dental Sleep Medicine. Dr. Owens treats patients from across Dublin and the rest of Ireland in this area.
What is snoring?
The main snoring cause is due to the partial closure of the airway during sleep. During sleep muscles in the neck relax and for some people the soft tissue in the upper throat vibrate, which makes the sound we know as snoring. Now you know about snoring do you know about Sleep Apnoea?
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a serious medical condition that is more widespread than initially thought. In Ireland, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea occurs on a similar frequency as Diabetes and double that of severe Asthma.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) occurs when a person stops breathing while asleep, which can be up to 50 to 60 times per hour. These breathing interruptions, known as “Sleep Apnoea” occur when the airway narrows so much that it closes. If we compare Obstructive Sleep Apnoea to simple snoring, simple snoring is the vibration of the soft tissue in the throat caused by a partial closure of the airway, whereas OSA is caused by the complete closure of the airway.
The closure of the airway causes breathing to stop, which in turn reduces the oxygen level in the blood. The brain reacts to cause a partial wakening. The snorer will often not be aware of this partial wakening during the night. As a result of this sleep fragmentation, many sufferers have excessive daytime sleepiness, resulting in their inability to concentrate, experience marital disharmony and fall asleep at unexpected and inappropriate times. Obstructive Sleep Apnoea makes them at least twice as likely to have a motor accident if they are driving. However, this is not the worst news. Research has demonstrated that the repeated falls in oxygen levels in the blood caused by OSA are linked to the development of high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes and diabetes. The reality is that untreated OSA is a killer and needs to be taken seriously and there are many snorers who simply don’t even know how serious their condition might be.
An OSA sufferer will snore loudly, their partner may tell them that they also stop breathing during sleep and both could find that proper sleep becomes impossible leading to sleepiness and other problems during the day.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Treatment
An oral appliance is a device worn in the mouth only during sleep. The device fits similar to a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer and prevents the airway from collapsing by either supporting the tongue or jaw in a forward position, thereby opening the airway.
With a custom fitted oral appliance, we can help minimise or eliminate the symptoms of Sleep Disordered Breathing. Sleep apnoea (in mild to moderate cases) including loud snoring, gasping and unpleasant noises.
The device can also act as an alternative treatment for patients (on medical advice only) who have been prescribed CPAP by their medical consultant, finding it difficult to adhere to this therapy for management of their sleep apnoea condition.
About Dental Sleep Medicine at The Beacon Dental Clinic
As director of the Beacon Dental Group Dr Edward G Owens is a hospital affiliated Prosthodontist. He has been working successfully with oral appliances to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea since 1997.
He collaborates with major hospital sleep disorder clinics and has been active in the management of oral sleep appliances and the development of Dental Sleep Medicine in Ireland.
Dr Ed Owens is one of a very small number of dentists qualified with recognised expertise in assessing and treating patients with Sleep Disordered breathing in Ireland. He is certified by the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine as having undergone specialist education and qualification to best manage patients with a range of Sleep Disordered Breathing presentations and guide them into their optimal sleep, with the use of an individualised oral device.
Dr Owens works with physicians and surgeons in the recognised leading centres of established expertise in Sleep Medicine in Ireland, including St Vincent’s University Hospital, The Mater University Hospital, Beaumont Hospital, St James Hospital, The Beacon Hospital and the Hermitage Clinic, amongst many other hospitals around the country.
He has been working with a wide range of patients presenting with a range of Sleep Disordered Breathing presentations successfully for over 20 years. Many patients have been successfully treated by oral appliance therapy and enjoyed the benefits of enhanced sleep, which in turn results in a measurable improvement in sleep quality through Sleep Studies and their overall general health.
Good quality sleep is responsible for a variety of measurable patient benefits including mood, enhanced daytime energy, the control and enhancement of cardiac and respiratory health, amongst many other health benefits. All these benefits are measurable and have been shown to increase overall general health in many studies and published papers.
Spousal or sleeping partner disturbance and anxiety is often a factor in someone presenting for assistance in the management of Sleep Disordered Breathing. Patients making respiratory noise at night, snoring and/or appearing to gasp for air on occasion during the night as observed by a partner, is often the trigger to seeking help.
We encourage patient partners to attend as this often helps through a more detailed understanding, to reduce anxiety, which may sometimes be experienced around Sleep Disordered Breathing conditions.
For further information on Sleep Apnoea Treatement, contact us today