Known by it’s full name of ‘Obstructive Sleep Apnoea’, it is a condition that results in a lack of oxygen being delivered to the body due to the walls of the throat closing together whilst sleeping. Breathing therefore stops, in some cases up to a minute, but more typically for a few seconds, as the brain realises what’s going on and sends a signal to rouse the sleeper. Sometimes the person doesn’t know they have it as they can awake slightly (typical with a snort and gasp) which signals the airways is open again and continue right on sleeping. This can happen a few or up to 100 times per night resulting in fragmented sleep, with the sufferer waking up feeling unrefreshed and tired.

Sleep Apnoea can range on a scale from normal (which is less than 5 interruptions/hour) up to severe where the suffer has greater than 30 interruptions per hour.

Some common factors which can influence this condition are:

  • Being over weight
  • Smoking
  • Medications
  • Alcohol
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Facial bone & muscle structure

The symptoms vary from lethargy on waking, or throughout the day, struggling to maintain wakefulness, especially in the afternoon. Snoring at night, waking up choking/gasping for air, irritability and mood changes

The effects of sleep apnoea on the body are potentially very serious & life threatening. There is a very strong correlation between this medical condition & high blood pressure, diabetes type 2, congestive cardiac disease, let alone the diminished functioning to perform in your daily life. Undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnoea can significantly reduce the quality and length of your life!

Sleep Apnoea can be diagnosed by performing a sleep study either in the comfort of your home, or at a sleep clinic. Measurements of the brain, heart, lungs and other sleep activity is recorded through the night’s sleep and analysed by the Sleep Physicians.

The treatment of this condition is managed under the care of a sleep physician and can range from using nasal valves (e-pap or provent), placement of a mandibular advancement splint or a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine.

To find out more, or to schedule a time that is convenient for you to see one of our dental health care providers please call (03) 5222 4599.

FAST FACT: People with Sleep Apnoea are 3x more likely to suffer from heart disease and 4x more likely to suffer a stroke.


To book a consultation with one of our experienced dentists, call (03) 5222 4599, email or visit us at 34 Myers St, Geelong. Get all the good health information and sign up to receive monthly notes from us.