Sleep dentistry on the gold coast

While many patients struggle with issues like snoring and fatigue, not many patients realise that their dentist can diagnose and treat a number of sleeping problems and disorders. 

At Robina Town Dental, we are focused on your dental health, but this can affect a number of other issues, such as quality of sleep and facial aesthetics. Read on to learn more about the following topics, written by Dr John Utama.

You can also jump here to read articles on facial development in children, snoring, UARS, and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

Management of Sleep Breathing Disorders 

Dentists are in a prime position to observe signs in their patients’ mouth, which may give clues to the presence of sleep disorders. At my dental practice, I see daily, in both children’s and adults’ mouth the following signs and symptoms:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Mouth breathing – dry mouth
  • Scalloping (tooth marks) on the sides of the tongue
  • Abnormal swallowing
  • Worn down teeth – grinding, acid reflux
  • Missing teeth
  • Bad bite
  • Gagging
  • Teeth leaning inwards
  • Midline discrepancy/deviation

graph of sleep breathing disorders

When questioned about their sleep, many patients confirm that they have ‘sleep issues’, which most attribute to stress.

I routinely advise these patients to undergo a sleep study with a portable sleep study monitor, the WatchPat*.

The sleep study report will show the quantity and quality of sleep, measured and summarized in 3 main Indices, AHI (Apopnoea Hypopnoea Index), RDI (Respiratory Disturbance Index) and ODI (Oxygen Desaturation Index).

If the patient has AHI greater than 5, they will be referred to a Sleep Physician for further investigation, as they may have the serious condition of OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnoea).

Milder symptoms such as primary snoring, TMJ pain, grinding and in selected cases, mild to moderate OSA, can be treated with a mandibular advancing device (MAD).

Treatment with MAD appliance in the dental chair

Snoring and TMJ pain (TMD)

I routinely request a patient seeks a Sleep study via a referral from the patients GP, to establish the patient’s baseline data, before treatment commences.

This study is provide by the Snore Clinic and will take around 4-6 weeks to receive once this study has been completed

You can also download the "Management of Sleep Breathing Disorders" article here

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