Snoring, sleep apnoea and oral health. The Keys.

One of the most common ailments among those who suffer from sleeping disorders is the sleep apnoea. 

Sleep apnoea is caused by a airway obstruction while sleeping, which does not allow air to enter the lungs. 

This is the reason for the appearance of the snoringwhich, in addition to being very annoying, lead to dry mouth and the appearance of other problems.

As published in the Journal of Clinic Sleep Medicine, 90% of people with nocturnal bruxism exhibit sleep apnoea in some of its stages


Sufferers tend not to rest properly, wake up with a headache and also suffer from a lack of concentration. 

There are two main types of apnoea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnoea: The most common apnoea results from a blockage in airflow during sleep, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep. Some health factors, such as obesity, may contribute.
  • Central sleep apnoea: It results from a problem with the way the brain signals the breathing muscles. The airway is not blocked, but the brain does not tell the muscles to breathe. This type of apnoea can occur with conditions such as heart failure, brain tumours, brain infections and strokes.

Grief can affect anyone at any age, although men are more likely to develop the disorder. The risk is also higher for those:

  • Over 40 years old.
  • Overweight.
  • With large tonsils, a long tongue or small jaws.
  • With a family history of sleep apnoea.
  • With nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies or a sinus problem.

If left untreated, the apnoea can give rise to a number of health problems, between them:

  • High blood pressure.
  • Spillage.
  • Heart failure, irregular heartbeat and heart attack.
  • Diabetes.
  • Depression.
  • ADHD impairment.

It should not be forgotten that several studies link sleep apnoea to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's and other degenerative neurological diseases which could have their origin in the lack of oxygenation of the neurons. 

Apnoea can be treated. There are several options:

Adjust sleep habits: this may simply mean not sleeping on your back.

  • Continuous positive air pressure (CPAP): a device that improves breathing while you sleep. The device delivers air through the nasal septum and the air pressure keeps the airway open while you sleep.
  • Oral appliances: Some oral appliances can move and support the jaw to prevent the airway from collapsing. Research shows that oral appliances can successfully prevent apnoea in some mild to moderate cases.
  • Surgery: according to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicineupper airway surgery may be recommended when other treatment options have failed to eliminate the symptoms of apnoea. Depending on the location and nature of the airway obstruction, the procedure may be minimally invasive or more complex. It may be necessary to remove the tonsils or other parts of the soft palate or throat.


There are non-invasive devices and developed by joint teams of dentists, pulmonologists and ENT specialists, which are used to treat mild and moderate cases of apnoea.

One of the ways of combating sleep apnoea is through the placement of unloading splints which help the air to enter the body in the right way. And they also reduce the pressure on the teeth. 

Sleep apnoea can be caused by a bad position of the jaw; it is even associated with bruxism.