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Supporting better sleep

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  Posted by: The Probe      14th January 2021

It’s crazy to think that something as fundamental as sleep is something which so many people struggle with. However, with conditions such as insomnia and sleep apnoea plaguing a large amount of people, it’s perhaps little surprise that research has suggested up to 30% of the UK population is extremely sleep deprived, and only a small percentage of people are getting a healthy amount of sleep each night.[i]

Although the perfect amount of sleep varies from person to person, it is generally considered that between 6 and 9 hours is necessary for people to feel rested and rejuvenated the next day.[ii] As such, it’s important for dental professionals to explore ways that they can support better sleep, especially as they are in prime position to help patients suffering from conditions such as sleep apnoea.

Understanding sleep apnoea

So, what is sleep apnoea? Effectively, sleep apnoea is a condition caused by the narrowing of the airways during sleep. In some cases, the airways narrow so much that people stop breathing, meaning they jolt awake and interrupt their sleep cycle in order to start breathing again. This hugely impacts the quality of sleep people with the condition get. Though there are no solid statistics on how many people in the UK suffer from the condition, it is estimated that at least 1.5 million people have sleep apnoea, though this number could be even higher as many go undiagnosed.[iii]

Symptoms of sleep apnoea include snoring, struggling to breathe, tossing and turning and other similar jerking movements.[iv] As many of these behaviours are very disruptive, they not only impact the person suffering from sleep apnoea but also any people they share a room or bed with. This is particularly worrying as lack of sleep has been linked to a number of significant physical and mental health conditions.

Why we need sleep

In simple terms, sleep is necessary for us because it gives our minds and bodies the chance to recuperate and heal from the day. During sleep our body works to stave off diseases and process the information from the day before.

Therefore, not getting enough sleep soon causes big problems. In the short term, people who don’t get enough sleep suffer from a lack of concentration and other mild cognitive problems. However, extended periods of bad sleep can soon lead to poor mental health and a much higher risk of certain conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and more.[v]

It goes without saying that these are serious side effects, all of which could be easily avoided with the correct treatment.

Treatments for sleep apnoea

Depending on the severity of the case, there are a number of available treatments that can help people overcome sleep apnoea and get the sleep they need. In very serious cases an individual may need surgery or to use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. CPAP machines work by continually flowing a stream of air into the lungs and preventing the airways from closing.

Alternatively, a dental anti-snore/mandibular advancement device is also a good option, and in the majority of cases this small mouth guard can make a world of difference. These devices work by repositioning the jaw so that the throat muscles don’t close during sleep, keeping airways free and ensuring that people can get the sleep they need.

Offering a solution

Of course, anti-snoring devices for sleep apnoea work best if they are accurately fitted to a patient’s oral cavity. In light of this, to offer effective treatment professionals need to have the technology available to send laboratories highly accurate impressions.

The CS 3700 intraoral scanner from Carestream Dental is a smart choice. Not only does the scanner provide turbo-speed scans that can capture a single arch in mere seconds, but it is also incredibly accurate – which is vital for the formation of a sleep apnoea device that really makes a difference.

Improve their sleep and their quality of life

Sleep is a vital part of all of our lives. By investing in innovative technology that allows you to treat people with sleep apnoea, you can help improve people’s quality of life and help them to avoid developing more serious conditions in the future.

 

For more information, contact Carestream Dental on 0800 169 9692 or

visit www.carestreamdental.co.uk

For the latest news and updates, follow us on Facebook and Instagram @carestreamdental.uk

 

Author:

Nimisha Nariapara is the Trade Marketing Manager at Carestream Dental covering the UK, Middle East, Nordics, South Africa, Russia and CIS regions. She has worked at Carestream Dental for the past 7 years, where she has developed her marketing skills and industry knowledge to bring the core values and philosophy of the company to the market. 

 

[i] NHS. Sleep Problems in the UK Highlighted. Link: https://www.nhs.uk/news/lifestyle-and-exercise/sleep-problems-in-the-uk-highlighted/ [Last accessed November 20].

[ii] NHS. How To Get Sleep. Link: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/how-to-get-to-sleep/#:~:text=Most%20adults%20need%20between%206%20and%209%20hours%20of%20sleep%20every%20night. [Last accessed November 20].

[iii] BBC News. Sleep Disorder Testing Carried Out by NHS Doubles. Link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-40122979#:~:text=It%20is%20estimated%20that%20about,UK%20have%20significant%20sleep%20apnoea. [Last accessed November 20].

[iv] British Lung Foundation. Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. Link: https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/obstructive-sleep-apnoea-osa/symptoms [Last accessed November 20].

[v] The Sleep Foundation. The Importance of Getting Enough Sleep. Link: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/why-do-we-need-sleep#:~:text=Sleep%20is%20an%20essential%20function,the%20brain%20cannot%20function%20properly. [Last accessed November 20].


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