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sleep apnoea

How much sleep are you getting in your life?

We spend one third of our lives sleeping. Sleep is necessary for us to recover and our bodies to heal. So, the quantity and quality of our sleep is critical for health and lifespan. Without quality sleep, we can become fatigued, suffer from depression, have increased risk of cardiovascular disease, become irritable, have poor memory, reduced lifespan and many other issues.

On average, we should be getting 6.5-8.5 hours of sleep per night. During this time, it is critical to go through several cycles. Have a look at the graph below, which is called a Hypnogram.

When we begin to sleep we go through different stages. We start with light sleep (stages 1 and 2), followed by deep sleep (stages 3 and 4) and then enter into dream sleep (REM; which stands for Rapid Eye Movement). So, the first half of the night is where our deep sleep occurs allowing for physical recover. The second half of the night is where we dream.

There are several important points about dream sleep:

  • This is the time where our mind is able to consolidate memories
  • Unlike the other stages of sleep, this is the stage where our brain is as active as it is when we are awake, however the difference is that our muscles are paralysed.

So what happens if we don’t go through all these phases? Or what happens if these phases are interrupted or shortened?

We now understand that a whole range of mental, physical, immune, memory, mood disorders can result. And this is without us even knowing about it. These are classified as chronic issues meaning that they occur over time and the effects are cumulative. Similar in a way that thickening of arteries can lead to a heart attack.

One part of sleep related to dentistry is the area of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). This is when we actually stop breathing at night for 10 seconds or more! And this can happen hundreds of times each night! Each time we stop breathing, the body, in an effort to get us oxygen jolts us into taking a breath, which in effect disrupts the sleep pattern. This means that we don’t go through all of the stages of sleep properly. The results of which can lead to anxiety, depression, cardiovascular disease, impaired memory, immune issues, tiredness etc.

Obstructive sleep apnoea is extremely common; 24% of males and 9% of females. Of these people, 90% are undiagnosed. And many of these people are not overweight.

One cause of obstructive sleep apnoea is the collapse of our airways. Basically our tongue falls back and blocks the airway. One of the treatments of this is wearing a device called a mandibular advancement splint which pushes our lower jaw forwards at night allowing us to breath.

Snoring may be one of the symptoms of OSA but there are many others.

Ask yourself:

  1. How long does it take you to fall asleep at night? If it’s longer than 15 minutes there may be sleep issues.
  2. Do you wake up to go to the bathroom at night? This is a sign of disturbed sleep
  3. Do you wake up feeling energised? If not then sleep may be disturbed

What about children?

In children, snoring is almost definitely a sign of OSA. These children are 9 times more likely to be in the bottom 10% of the class and many of these may have been diagnosed with ADHD.

Sleep is a very large area in dentistry and medicine that we are learning more about all the time. Currently it has transformed orthodontics – that area of dentistry traditionally thought of as just straightening of the teeth. Orthodontics now has a large part in “opening” the airways of children in order to prevent breathing/sleeping issues as an adult.

In future articles we’ll discuss in greater detail the consequences of poor sleep, OSA and what effects it can have on our teeth, jaws, muscles and joints of the face.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns related to anything in these articles. We are here to help add value and expand your knowledge on what modern dentistry can provide.

Dr Thomas Vo

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Oral Health - Tips And Techniques For Looking After Your Teeth Between Dental Visits

Oral Health - Tips And Techniques For Looking After Your Teeth Between Dental Visits

Who doesn't love the feeling of a clean mouth right after visiting the dentist's office? But we can't visit the dentist every day for professional teeth cleaning, which means we must implement and maintain a good oral health routine at home to keep that feeling of freshness every day. So what can we do to look after our teeth between visits to the dentist? Here are five tips for enhancing your oral health routine at...

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Dental Implants: The Cutting Edge Solution To Missing Teeth

Dental Implants: The Cutting Edge Solution To Missing Teeth

Did your doctor recently discussed with you the possibility of having dental implants? Although having a denture made especially for you is the most popular option among those who are dealing with missing teeth, most dentists these days also offer dental implants as another viable choice. What Are Dental Implants? Dental implants as the name suggests are implanted tooth to replace the natural tooth that you lost. It is...

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Dental Emergency: How Should You Deal With It?

Dental Emergency: How Should You Deal With It?

Accidents can happen to anyone at any given time. It is important to know what to do when accidents occur. Knowledge of basic dental emergency remedies can spell the difference between losing one’s teeth and saving it. The first thing to do during dental emergencies to call your dentist to say that something has happened and that you are coming in with an emergency. Notifying them will help them prepare for the procedure...

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Professional Vs. At Home Teeth Whitening - Which Is Better?

Professional Vs. At Home Teeth Whitening - Which Is Better?

So you took a look in the mirror after you brushed your teeth this morning and you were n't quite happy with your stained teeth? I think we've all been there. The cups of coffee and occasional glass of red wine can really add up and start to make your once white teeth tinged with yellow. Now you're faced with an important question: do I go out and try one of the many DIY teeth whitening methods or stick with a professional...

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Advantages Of Dental Orthodontics

Advantages Of Dental Orthodontics

You may be wondering if dental orthodontics would be beneficial for you. Many people can benefit from a number of orthodontic procedures and treatments and today many of these procedures are more affordable and widely available throughout Australia. No matter what your age, there are many advantages of sitting down with a dental professional to discuss your dental needs. Here are some of the advantages of dental...

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Children’s Dentistry – When Should You Schedule Appointments?

Children’s Dentistry – When Should You Schedule Appointments?

Although dental decay is the most common and widespread childhood disease, parents often overlook the importance of scheduling dental appointment for their children. With cavities at epidemic levels amongst children in Australia, it is important to make children’s dentistry a priority. The first dental visit should take place within six months of the first tooth erupting or by the child’s first birthday. The First...

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Sedation Dentistry: How Does It Help You Relax?

Sedation Dentistry: How Does It Help You Relax?

Does the thought of going to the dentist to have your teeth checked and cleaned make you shiver to the bones? Does it make your whole body feel tensed with fear that things might go wrong? Would you rather endure the pain of a toothache than to see your dentist? You are not alone with this dilemma. In fact, there are so many people around the world who choose to suffer from dental problems than going to the dentist to seek...

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Good Dental Care: What Makes It Necessary?

Good Dental Care: What Makes It Necessary?

How often do you brush your teeth? Did you remember to floss after eating lunch? You may have your dental routine in place, and that’s good. Putting them into practice will not only help you keep your gums and teeth healthy, but they could also mean savings from dental procedures in the long run. However, brushing and flossing are not enough. You have to see your dentist regularly too. Sadly, not everyone can see their...

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Beautiful Smile: How Does It Change People’s Lives?

Beautiful Smile: How Does It Change People’s Lives?

How much do you want to have that perfect set of teeth? A lot of people go through several dental procedures to achieve the attractiveness of their teeth. Although it may seem as if their reason is pure aesthetics, having a beautiful smile gives people a confidence boost that makes them feel better about themselves. Still, many fail to recognize the social benefits of having healthy teeth. Are you aware that a great smile...

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Shopping For A Dentist: Tips On What To Remember

Shopping For A Dentist: Tips On What To Remember

Are you in the market for a new dentist? Whether it is for yourself or your family, it is important that you take your time in choosing the dentist to the truth with your dental needs. There may be a number of them, but only a few will truly be able to provide you with the services that you require. But how do you know that you have found the right one? Tip 1: Keep Your Options Open. The first dentist you see may be...

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Dental Visits: Why Should You Not Miss Them?

Dental Visits: Why Should You Not Miss Them?

Did you have to reschedule your last dental visit because something came up in the office and you just can’t leave? When you looked at your calendar, it was full of appointments and business meetings that you resolve that the dental visit has to wait for at least a couple of weeks. If you have had this dilemma again and again and you keep on reschedule regular dental visits because of something you consider more important,...

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Thumb Sucking, Finger Sucking And Pacifier Use

Thumb Sucking, Finger Sucking And Pacifier Use

The sucking reflex is naturally present in every child at birth. Due to this, with time, babies start sucking everything which comes near their mouth. It is common to see newly born babies sucking their fist and palms. However, with time this habit gets shifted to thumb sucking and finger sucking as the newborn baby turns into a toddler. The sucking habit of the baby lasts till approximately the age of 3. What Causes This...

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Wisdom Teeth - The Facts

Wisdom Teeth - The Facts

Here are some of the facts that you should be aware of regarding wisdom teeth: Fact #1 Wisdom teeth are the last of the permanent teeth to erupt. They are also called third molars. Fact #2 Wisdom teeth usually appear in the late teenage years or early twenties. Most people will have four wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth can be responsible for causing misalignment or crowding of the front teeth and for this reason some...

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Porcelain Veneers - Creating The Smile Of Your Dreams

Porcelain Veneers - Creating The Smile Of Your Dreams

If you’ve always dreamed of having perfectly formed and neatly aligned teeth, you may be interested to know that porcelain veneers can create a perfect smile. Veneers made of exquisite porcelain can tidy up your smile and can be fitted in just three professional appointments. The veneer procedure is painless and often much less expensive than having dental crowns or orthodontic braces. Here’s what you need to know about...

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Porcelain Veneers - What You Need To Know

Porcelain Veneers - What You Need To Know

Dental veneers are a common solution for people who are not completely happy with their smile. They are very thin (equivalent to a contact lens) shells made either from porcelain or a resin composite that adhere to the front of the tooth. Veneers change the shape, colour and size of the natural tooth. They fix a number of dental problems. How Porcelain Veneers Can Help To Create A Winning Smile Chipped, broken and worn...

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Don't Wait Until It Hurts - Gum Disease

Don't Wait Until It Hurts - Gum Disease

Gum disease or ‘Gingivitis’ causes inflammation and infection of the gums. Here’s everything you need to know about gum disease and how to avoid it. What Is Gum Disease? Gum disease, also called Gingivitis, is the inflammation of the gums. Gums are infected by bacteria which feed on the plaque formed on teeth. The gums become inflamed and red and the infection can destroy the tissues, periodontal alignments and the...

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Handling A Dental Emergency

Handling A Dental Emergency

Dental emergencies do happen. Despite being careful with your teeth, mishaps and accidents can happen. Therefore, it is important to be aware of some of the ways in which dental emergencies can be managed. Here are some tips on handling dental emergencies. Injured Tongue And Lip Like other oral tissue, the tongue and lips are very sensitive. When they are injured, controlling blood loss can be a tough job. The first step...

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2017 Winner Of Business Award

2017 Winner Of Business Award

Sydney Road Dental Care are honoured to be the Regional Business Award Winner of the brand new category in 2017 ‘Start Up Superstar’. The Business Awards 2017 was held at The Kirribilli Club in Kirribilli. What an amazing night, we got to meet other businesses in the local area and learn about what they do and celebrate the night with a great group of people. This is an amazing award that recognises our team’s...

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Dental Implants – A Permanent Solution For Missing Teeth

Dental Implants – A Permanent Solution For Missing Teeth

For a long while, bridges and dentures were the only dental solutions available to people with missing teeth. Today, however, dental implants are growing in popularity and have become one of the leading dental procedures performed to close the gap left by missing teeth. Instead of merely covering over the space of missing teeth, dental implants replace the tooth roots and are covered by permanent or removable replacement...

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Orthodontics - Straight Teeth And Much More

Orthodontics - Straight Teeth And Much More

One of the main benefits of orthodontics is the creation of a straight, attractive smile. But the advantages of straighter teeth can include an improvement in your overall health. Here are some benefits of orthodontics that may surprise you. Straight Teeth Are Easier To Clean This may seem like a trivial benefit, but if you can't clean your teeth properly you'll be at higher risk of tooth decay, gum disease and tooth...

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Teeth Whitening For A Celebrity Smile

Teeth Whitening For A Celebrity Smile

Teeth whitening is as easy as visiting your dentist. It is a simple treatment to lighten your teeth and remove stains or discolouration. It is a very popular and effective way to create a celebrity-style smile. When Is Teeth Whitening Used? Teeth whitening is used to treat extrinsic stains on teeth. The outer layer of your tooth is called the enamel. The enamel helps to give your teeth their natural colour. If your...

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How Does Fluoride Help Your Teeth?

How Does Fluoride Help Your Teeth?

Keeping your smile bright and your teeth healthy plays an important part in contributing to your overall health and wellness. Fluoride in your drinking water is beneficial for your teeth. Fluoride for teeth is like a fence around your house; it serves to protect your teeth from tooth decay. Here are three ways fluoride benefits your oral health. Fluoride Protects You From Tooth Decay. Tooth decay occurs as damaging sugar...

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Dentures Vs. Implants - Why Would I Choose Them?

Dentures Vs. Implants - Why Would I Choose Them?

Both dentures and implants are common dental appliances that may solve the problem of one or multiple missing teeth. There are pros and cons to both and which one an individual chooses is dependent on several factors. Let's look at why a person might prefer one to the other. The Advantages Of Dental Implants Implants are a way to replace teeth so that they look and feel natural. Once the procedure is complete, no one will...

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Nightguards - Do I Need A Nightguard?

Nightguards - Do I Need A Nightguard?

Do you suffer from headaches or wake with a sore jaw on a regular basis? This could signal that your muscles were hard at work while you slept. Teeth grinding can cause damage to your teeth. It is important to visit your dentist for treatment and discover whether a nightguard will assist you. Night mouth guards are worn to protect the teeth from chronic grinding during your sleep, medically termed Bruxism. Even if you don't...

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Dentist Manly

Dentist Manly

Dentist In Manly At Sydney Road Dental Care our dentists in Manly and support staff truly love coming to work collaborating, innovating and constantly learning. Dr. Jamie Jones I have a Bachelors degree of Biomedical Science from the University of Queensland and a Bachelor of Dentistry from Sydney University. Beginning my career as a dentist in Rural NSW working in disadvantaged and Indigenous communities allowed...

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NIB Dentist Manly

NIB Dentist Manly

Sydney Road Dental Care Is Now NIB Dentists In Manly Sydney Road Dental Care is proud to be selected as an NIB first choice provider. With 25,000 members on the Northern Beaches we have been privileged to be given the status of NIB trusted health partner - making us the only nib dentists in Manly. This means you can be confident in our high levels of service and standards of care recognised by NIB. Our vision of creating...

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Dental Floss - The Hows And Whys

Dental Floss - The Hows And Whys

Many people brush their teeth on a regular basis thinking that doing so will ensure their oral health. Whilst brushing is an essential part of maintaining good oral health, flossing is also very important as it cleans between the teeth where toothbrush bristles often don’t go. Here are a few tips on how to floss in order to maintain your oral health. Choosing Your Floss Don’t be mistaken in thinking that any floss will...

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Teeth Healthy Snacks For Kids – Advice From A Children’s Dentist

Teeth Healthy Snacks For Kids – Advice From A Children’s Dentist

Getting your kids to eat teeth healthy snacks can be a challenge. The best way to educate them about the importance of caring for their teeth is by providing snacks that are not only nourishing, but also appealing. Children’s dentists recommend snacks such as these: Gouda, Swiss, or other aged cheeses. They help stimulate the flow of saliva, which washes away food particles from teeth. They're also high in calcium,...

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Mouthguards - A Sporting Necessity

Mouthguards - A Sporting Necessity

There was a time in sports history when people engaged in collision sports such as Australian rugby, American football, boxing and other contact sports without any protection to the head, neck, knee or mouth. Fortunately, sanity has prevailed and today safety matters. Many sports players now enter their sporting arena wearing protective padding and hard helmets yet the mouthguard is possibly one of the last safety devices to...

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Six Month Smiles

Six Month Smiles

Get That Beautiful Smile Sooner With Six Month Smiles Dr Fay Callaghan is the only dentist on the Northern Beaches to offer this fantastic new system We are very excited to be able to introduce all our patients to Six Month Smiles – a cosmetic braces system using clear brackets and tooth-coloured wire that can create a beautiful smile in a very short period of time. Having had conventional fixed orthodontics (train...

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