Snoring and Fatigue – The First Signs of Sleep Apnoea
Most people are unaware that there is a strong relationship between your oral health and the quality of your sleep. Many sleep disorders originate from disorders of oral or dental health, which is why the solution can be found at our dental practice with a practitioner that has a special interest and high knowledge of sleep disorder dentistry.
Sleep apnoea is a sleep disorder in which the breathing pauses or becomes shallow during sleep. Some of the first signs of sleep apnoea are snoring and fatigue, but there are some less obvious symptoms to look out for as well. Read on to learn how to recognise the wide range of sleep apnoea symptoms.
Sleep Apnoea Leads to Snoring
Sleep apnoea is caused by the muscles of the upper airways collapsing during sleep, so the airways become obstructed.
With air unable to get into the lungs, the breathing slows down and pauses. This causes the muscles of the throat to tense, as muscle tone helps to keep the airways open. This tension leads to snoring as air passes in and out. As one of the first signs of sleep apnoea, take note if you experience snoring alongside any other symptoms of sleep apnoea.
Snoring Leads to a Dry Mouth
Because snoring is the body’s response to keep the lungs supplied with air, it involves breathing with the mouth open. With the loss of moisture in the breath, especially as the body produces less saliva during the night than the day, the mouth becomes excessively dry.
A Dry Mouth Leads to Cavities
Saliva has a highly protective function in the mouth, so a dry mouth can lead to a range of oral health complications.
One of the most likely complications is the development of tooth cavities. A dry mouth is a better environment to breed oral bacteria, which then creates more risk of them opportunistically colonising a tooth and causing tooth cavitation.
Sleep Apnoea Means Waking Up
At other times, when the lungs become starved of air, the effect is severe enough that, instead of just snoring, the brain is triggered to wake up.
Simply going back to sleep is not an effective solution. The body needs time to cycle through the shallower stages of sleep before it can access the most restorative stage of deep sleep, also known as Rapid Eye Movement sleep.
People with sleep apnoea are getting a night’s worth of shallow sleep, leading to a range of consequences such as daytime fatigue, difficulty concentrating or remembering, irritability and anxiety. Treating sleep apnoea is critical to getting a full rest for the body and mind.
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