Bellevue Hill Dental prescribes world first sleep apnoea treatment
More than 1.5 million Australians suffer from sleep apnoea, with many more unaware they have the life-threatening condition, according to the Sleep Health Foundation.
And it’s not just sufferers who stand to lose shut eye; partners and family members are losing out on hours of vital sleep a night, leading to a string of related health complications.
But a groundbreaking medical mouth guard pioneered by a Queensland dentist is making serious headways, a recent clinical trial has found.
Brisbane dentist Dr Chris Hart is behind the invention that’s helping many get a better night’s sleep. In a world first, he’s invented the Oventus Clearway DeviceTM (O2VentTM T), a 3D lightweight titanium mouth guard that helps oxygen flow through to the back of the throat bypassing nasal, soft palette and tongue obstructions.
What is sleep apnoea?
Those suffering from sleep apnoea have trouble sleeping as the air passage in their throat becomes obstructed during sleep, intermittently affecting their ability to breathe. According to experts, sufferers experience multiple episodes of partial airway obstruction during sleep, which can cause breathing to stop from anywhere between 10 seconds to more than a minute, sending blood oxygen levels plummeting in the body. Each pause causes the sleeper to wake up briefly to allow them to breathe again, leading to a highly disrupted overall sleep.
Left undiagnosed, sleep apnoea can pose serious long-term health consequences and can even be lethal.
“People using other oral devices have major issues with them including chronic jaw pain, teeth loosening, teeth wear, ongoing adjustment, or nasal obstruction which stops many of them wearing their device,” said Dr Hart.
“As a sleep apnoea sufferer myself, I knew there had to be a better alternative that could increase airflow past the soft palette and tongue, that had fewer side effects.”
The numbers speak for themselves
According to the results of the clinical trials, O2VentTM T saw a 50 to 90 per cent reduction in Apnoea Hypopnea Index (AHI) in 75 per cent of patients. Throughout the trial, patients used the device for 93 per cent of their sleep time for five or more nights a week. At the end of the trial, 93 per cent of these patients wanted to continue using the O2VentTM T while 100 per cent of participants said they would recommend it to a friend of family member.
Until now, sleep apnoea sufferers have had limited treatments options, such as large and obtrusive nasal masks or bulky Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines. The O2VentTM T offers an easy and transportable everyday solution. It’s also able to connect with a CPAP machine, if a more advanced treatment is required.
“It is also an option for people that cannot tolerate the CPAP mask as a stand-alone device or, with connection to CPAP, to replace the mask said Oventus’s CEO, Neil Anderson.
Do I have sleep apnoea, or am I just a snorer?
Not everyone who snores has sleep apnoea – snoring can be a cause of drinking, alcohol, smoking, certain medications, sinus problems or allergies.
But a study from the New England Journal of Medicine shows snorers are at a seven times greater risk of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea than non-snorers. Signs to watch for include loud snoring, feeling fatigued after a full night’s sleep, or a slump in energy levels by the afternoon.
If you suffer from any of these, visit your GP or a sleep disorder specialist. To find out more about the O2VentTM T, contact Bellevue Hill Dental today.