SomnoBrux ® is a special mouthguard worn during sleep to help prevent the damage to your teeth, temporomandibular joint and alleviate jaw and muscle pain that can be caused by bruxism and jaw clenching.
The SomnoBrux is designed with your comfort in mind and combined with SMH BFlex is a much higher quality than standard bruxism devices. Your SomnoBrux is custom made making it a precise snug fit and allowing you to open and close your mouth naturally.
SomnoMed is an Australian-owned company that manufactures SomnoBrux bruxism devices. They are available in Australia from a network of specially trained dentists.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Approximately 80% of Australians have symptoms like:
- Frequent breaks of pauses in breathing
- Prolonged sleepiness
- Poor memory
- Choking or gasping for air during sleep
- Frequent headaches in the morning
- Multiple nighttime bathroom trips
- High blood pressure
- Overweight or obese
Sleep apnea shouldn’t be accepted as a normal way of life.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common condition and chronic disorder affecting millions, where while sleeping, patients repeatedly stop breathing during the night. Each pause in breathing is called “apnea” – meaning “no breath”. This pause typically lasts 10 seconds or longer and happens regularly throughout the night.
How Often Does It Happen?
Some experience 5 to 30 apnea episodes in one hour. When breathing is irregular, carbon dioxide builds in the bloodstream, triggering the brain to wake the sleeping person and resume breathing.
Why Does Sleep Apnea Happen?
When someone with obstructive sleep apnea (or OSA) sleeps, gravity and muscle relaxation allows the tongue and surrounding soft tissue to fall back into the throat area. This collapses the airway and obstructs the airflow. This condition is further complicated by excessive weight, loss of muscle tone due to aging or excessive tissue in the upper airway. Additionally, sleeping on your back or alcohol use may increase apnea events.
What Are The Consequences of Untreated Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea consequences can be significant. When left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to several physical issues and diseases, as well as major health complications. (1) Other consequences of sleep apnea are:
- An 83% increase in drug-resistant hypertension
- A 77% increase in obesity
- A 76% increase in congestive heart failure
- A 59% increase in diabetes
- A 76% increase in coronary artery disease
What Are My Treatment Options?
The good news is OSA is a treatable condition and solutions exist to help patients around the world rest easier, feel better during the day, and reduce their risk of health complications.
Outside of weight loss where appropriate, two primary options exist for the treatment of sleep apnea:
- CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure): CPAP is administered through a CPAP machine, supplying pressurized air through a tube and into a mask worn over the nose, or sometimes over the nose and the mouth. The increased air pressure prevents the sleeper’s airway from collapsing during sleep.
- COAT (Continuous Open Airway Therapy): COAT is delivered via an oral device prescribed by a sleep physician and fitted by a dentist so it can be comfortably worn in the mouth. The device treats OSA by moving the lower jaw slightly forward, keeping the airway open.
How Do I Start My Treatment?
Getting started with treatment is easier than ever, and should look something like:
- Talk to your physician about your symptoms. If you don’t have a sleep physician, ask your primary care physician for a sleep physician referral.
- Your sleep physician will order a sleep study, and provide you with the diagnosis afterward.
- If diagnosed with mild-moderate sleep apnea, COAT is an option for you. A dentist will fit you with your device. Ask your dentist about any of our SomnoDent devices and discuss the sleep physician’s diagnosis
UCLA researchers provide first evidence of how obstructive sleep apnea damages the brain
UCLA researchers have reported the first evidence that obstructive sleep apnea contributes to a breakdown of the blood–brain barrier, which plays an important role in protecting brain tissue.
The discovery, reported in the Sept. 1 issue of the Journal of Neuroimaging, could lead to new approaches for treating obstructive sleep apnea, which affects an estimated 22 million American adults. The disorder causes frequent interruptions in breathing during sleep because the airways narrow or become blocked.
The blood–brain barrier limits harmful bacteria, infections and chemicals from reaching the brain; studies have found that compromised blood-brain barrier function is associated with significant brain damage in stroke, epilepsy, meningitis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions.
“We found that the blood–brain barrier becomes more permeable in obstructive sleep apnea, a breakdown that could contribute to brain injury, as well as potentially enhancing or accelerating the damage,” said Rajesh Kumar, the study’s principal investigator and an associate professor in the departments of anesthesiology and radiological sciences at the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine.
“This type of brain injury in obstructive sleep apnea has significant consequences to memory, mood and cardiovascular risk, but physicians and researchers have developed pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapeutic strategies to repair blood–brain barrier function in other conditions,” he said.
Thanks to research conducted at UCLA over the past 12 years, experts have known that the gasping during the night that characterizes obstructive sleep apnea can damage the brain in ways that lead to high blood pressure, depression, memory loss and anxiety. It also can cause extreme daytime sleepiness, thanks to the constant nighttime interruptions, and can lead to stroke, diabetes, and loss of testosterone and endocrine-related problems.
The damage to the brain likely stems in part from the reduction of oxygen to the body as a result of the repeated breathing interruptions. But doctors do not yet fully understand exactly what causes the brain injury and how it progresses. While previous studies have found that reduced exposure to oxygen and high blood pressure can affect the blood–brain barrier, which in turn can introduce or enhance brain tissue injury, Kumar and his colleagues are the first to show that this breakdown occurs in obstructive sleep apnea.
The finding was made possible by a magnetic resonance imaging procedure that is used by only a handful of research teams in the world. The noninvasive procedure uses the brain’s own blood and fluids to measure the breakdown of the blood–brain barrier.
In the new study, the authors found that in patients who had recently been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and not yet treated, the permeability of the blood–brain barrier was significantly higher than it was in healthy people.
“This suggests that besides improving breathing in obstructive sleep apnea patients, we need to repair or improve blood–brain barrier function, perhaps by using treatments already available for other conditions,” said Kumar, who is also a member of the UCLA Brain Research Institute and holds a faculty appointment in UCLA’s department of bioengineering.
Kumar noted that the study was small — nine people with obstructive sleep apnea were compared to nine healthy controls. Now, in addition to confirming these findings in a larger population of obstructive sleep apnea patients, the researchers are planning to study whether strategies known to be effective in overcoming blood–brain barrier breakdown in people who have had a stroke and other neurological conditions can also help minimize brain injury in people with obstructive sleep apnea or other long-standing respiratory problems.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (R01 HL-113251 and R01 NR-015038). Other authors were Jose Palomares, Sudhakar Tummala, Bumhee Park, Danny J.J. Wang, Daniel Kang, Ronald Harper and Mary Woo, all of UCLA; and Keith St. Lawrence of the Lawson Health Research Institute in Ontario, Canada.
Here are 5 surprising effects of sleep deprivation you or your loved one may be dealing with:
1. Sleep deprivation shortens your life expectancy.
In the “Whitehall II Study,” British researchers discovered less than five hours of sleep also doubled the risk of death from cardiovascular disease – which is the number one cause of death in America according to the CDC.
2. Sleep deprivation makes you gain weight.
Lack of sleep causes your body to work against you, a 2004 study shows. In the study, those who were sleeping less than six hours per night were 30 percent more likely to gain weight and become obese than those sleeping six to nine hours per night. This may be due to the fact leptin – the hormone which makes you feel full and regulates fat storage – is 15.5 percent lower in those who regularly sleep five hours or less. Conversely, less sleep also increases ghrelin – the hormone which stimulates hunger. In short, if you feel hungrier throughout the day and will most likely eat more food.
3. Sleep deprivation makes you more forgetful.
The effects of sleep deprivation even take a toll on your brain! Five or fewer hours of sleep three days in a row can damage or kill brain cells. Eventually, the brain won’t be able to clear out the plaque-forming proteins causing Alzheimer’s’ and dementia. Your brain needs the “sharp wave ripples” discovered by American and French researchers in 2009 in order to consolidate memory. How do you experience more “sharp wave ripples”? You guessed it! Sleep! Studies show sharp wave ripples occur most frequently during the deepest levels of sleep occurring during longer sleep time frames.
4. Sleep deprivation makes you look older, faster.
You may have noticed the first signs of a lack of sleep on your skin – puffy, red eyes. Over time, this leads to fine lines, wrinkles, sallow skin and dark circles under your eyes. In order to keep your body healthy, you need human growth hormone – which the body produces in abundance when you are young. When you sleep, your body repairs itself strengthens bones and thickens your skin. Be kind to your skin and get adequate rest on a regular basis.
5. Sleep deprivation increases the risk of getting sick.
Missing sleep over time wears down your immune system, making it more difficult for your body to fight off viruses and diseases. Effects of sleep deprivation on your immune system can slow down your recovery time if you do get sick and increase your risk of getting sick after being exposed to a virus or bacteria. Cytokines are proteins your body releases during sleep, which increase when you are sick, to fight off an infection or inflammation. Sleep deprivation may decrease the production of these proteins.