Our treatment approach for snoring and sleep apnoea
Lotus Dental has always been dedicated to holistic and integrative dentistry, and this also shapes our approach to breathing and sleep disorders. We work very closely with other specialists to achieve the most effective treatment solution for each individual – there is no ‘one size fits all’.
Diagnosis of sleep breathing disorders
We start with a full inspection of your teeth, jaw, nose and throat looking for
- enlarged tonsils
- any visible nasal obstructions such as polyps or a deflected nasal septum
- long and flabby soft palate
- untreated ‘bite’ issues where the lower jaw is set backwards
- a narrow upper jaw due to mouth-breathing as a child
- previous orthodontic treatment that may have reduced the space available for the tongue
- signs of untreated allergies or nasal conditions
- other physical factors that might be causing or affecting the condition.
In conjunction with the oral examination we go through a detailed questionnaire with you (or the parents, if a child) which gathers information including general health, life style, exercise, sleep patterns and so on.
Tests and referrals
- If sleep apnoea is indicated we refer to a Sleep Physician for a sleep study (which may be at home or in hospital) and also determine the best treatment.
- Airway volume, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels are tested using a capnometer by Breathing Therapist, Dr Rosalba Courtney.
- If allergies appear to be an issue, we refer to an Allergy Specialist for testing and treatment.
- If the tonsils are enlarged we refer to Homeopaths and Naturopaths to reduce their size with the help of diet changes and herbal supplements.
- If there is severe obstruction in the airway we refer to Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeons who can help with prescription drugs or surgery to remove tonsils and adenoids, straighten a deflected nasal septum or sinus, remove nasal polyps, and so on.
Lotus Dental, with our Lotus Health integrative practitioners.
Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) to move the jaw forward in sleep
Patients with mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnoea respond best to dental appliance therapy. The Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) is very effective for repositioning the lower jaw (bringing it forward) and increasing in the airway volume. This is custom-fitted for you so that it delivers maximum benefit.
Everyone has a unique mouth and jaw, so we have an splint made specially for you. We use a mould to take an impression of your teeth, and once the splint has been received we fit it and adjust it very precisely: it needs to move your jaw forward to an effective position while still being comfortable. The device has a screw adjustment which allows fine-tuning over the next few weeks.
We also explain how to clean and care for your splint to get the best performance and long usage from it.
Over-the-counter splints have been shown to be less effective and are not as comfortable, because they aren’t made for your unique bone structure or professionally fitted.
In cases of severe sleep apnoea a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine may be needed, which is made available by the sleep clinic. A combination of dental appliance and CPAP machine has been used very successfully in many cases.
Light Wire orthodontics to expand the dental arch
Airway improvement using orthodontics
If the jaw is narrow, there isn’t enough room for the tongue and therefore the airway in narrower. We may suggest maxillary expansion to create more room for the tongue and increase airway volume. This can be done in several ways but we generally use a Light Wire appliance to gently expand the dental arch and relieve the issue of air flow.
Orthodontic treatment such as braces or Invisalign may be needed after airway expansion to align your teeth.
Other airway improvement
Highlight Xlear is a natural nasal spray with Xylitol – it is antibacterial and conditions the mucosa.
Our in-house naturopaths are experienced in diagnosing and treating allergies.
The importance of breathing though the nose can’t be underestimated. What causes mouth-breathing and why does it matter?
We work closely with Dr Rosalba Courtney DO PhD, who offers a range of breathing assessment services and breathing therapy techniques, including The Buteyko Method, Remedial Breathing, Breathing Biofeedback, Breathing Mindfulness, Pranayama and Intermittent Hypoxic Training.
Breathing therapy has helped many people improve or overcome conditions such as mouth breathing, sleep apnoea, asthma, hypertension, anxiety and panic disorder, sinus congestion and gastro-reflux disorder.
Breathing therapy is available for both adults and children as breathing courses, classes or individual sessions.
Our dentists are very experienced in sleep and breathing related problems in both adults and children, and we work synergistically with other experts.
Call us at Lotus Dental in Sydney on 02 9953 5153 or send us an email to make an appointment. We’ll discuss and diagnose the cause of your problem, and identify the most effective treatment approach for you or your child.