Sleep Apnoea and Snoring

Snoring in Australia has been a common household occurrence for as long as anyone can remember. We all know of someone who snores or has trouble with sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea and quite often pass it off as a way of life. Little do we realize that snoring can quite often be a warning sign that your body is not getting enough oxygen when getting that vital night’s sleep.

Sure we all make jokes about how your Mum, Dad, Husband, Wife, partner, friend, or even young child snores really loud every night and you wish you were wearing ear plugs but for many people, this is actually the case. Many partners will wear ear plugs to muffle the sound of snoring or try all kinds of home remedies to stop snoring. In some cases people who suffer from sleep apnoea and snoring will try to fix the problem themselves by purchasing anti snoring equipment such as anti-snoring spray, nose strips, snoring pillows, anti-snoring rings, or expensive cpap machines without consulting a medical professional first. This can often lead to many people wasting money on something that might stop the snoring sound but not cure the problem. Many anti snoring devices can also make you uncomfortable and therefore make it harder to sleep than before.

Snoring occurs when the muscles of the airway relax too much during sleep and vibrate (creating noise) when air we breathe passes in and out. Most people will snore at some time, however loud or chronic snoring can disrupt sleep-quality and disturb others. Particularly when loud, it is often associated with other sleep-related breathing disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).

Associate Professor Michael Stubbs is one of Australia’s leading experts in sleep apnoea, snoring, and oral medicine. With his help, Associate Professor Stubbs can work with the patient to find the cause of the snoring and how to best treat your sleeping disorder.

“This is a unique area of dentistry in which colleagues work with sleep physicians or sleep scientists to treat a patient diagnosed with a sleep disordered breathing condition such as obstructive sleep apnoea; upper airways resistance syndrome (UARS) or snoring.”

One of the most common treatments involves the making of a custom dental device which holds the patient’s mandible (lower jaw) forward and thereby holding the tongue forward and the soft palate to a less degree, to mechanical prevent the collapse of the airway during sleep. Ensuring a patient sleeps well and experiences the proper REM (Rapid Eye Movement) form of sleep which is critical to feeling refreshed on awakening in the morning. This custom dental device is tailored to the persons individual needs and requirements unlike generic mouthguards and other shelf goods that are designed for a generic use. Assoc. Stubbs offers a solution to your sleep apnoea/snoring that is designed specifically for you as well as giving advice and educating you properly about your exact circumstance and condition.
Common causes of snoring

The human body can be exposed to a large number of life changing situations that can cause you to have trouble sleeping at night. Without knowing what is causing your sleep to be disrupted  each night Assoc. Stubbs will take a more medical approach to finding the cause and thus finding the correct treatment for you.
Some common causes of snoring can include:

  • Allergies
  • Eating too much at night
  • Nasal congestion
  • Deformity of the nose
  • Consumption of alcohol close to bed-time, especially if the amount is large
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Pregnancy
  • Swelling of the muscular part of the roof of the mouth
  • Swollen adenoids or tonsils, especially in children
  • Medications, including sleeping tablets
  • Sleep position – sleeping on your back may cause your throat muscles and tongue to relax; the tongue is then more likely to fall back and compress the airway, causing snoring or making snoring louder.

An overnight sleep study can be performed to assess the nature and severity of snoring, and to check for other sleep-disorders that often accompany snoring, especially obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).


The most appropriate treatment for snoring varies according to the severity of snoring, presence of sleep apnoea, age, body-weight, degree of daytime sleepiness, alcohol-consumption, medical history and the anatomy of the upper airway. A Sleep Physician is a doctor who specialises in treating patients with snoring and other sleep-disorders, and who is qualified to help sufferers make an informed decision about which treatment is the most appropriate.

Education and Research

Assoc. Stubbs is also passionate about teaching and educating his fellow colleagues to help further the study and research of this area of medicine. These courses are run nationally, and if you are a dentist interested in learning more about treating a patient with a snoring or sleep apnoea related disorder, a medical student or professional wanting to learn more about Dental Sleep Medicine then you can contact Assoc. Stubbs by email for course details and dates.
Assoc. Stubbs teaches other dental colleagues through his courses of both:

  • Introduction to Dental Sleep Medicine and
  • Advanced Course in Dental Sleep Medicine

If you need help with Sleep Apnoea or Snoring contact Associate Professor Michael Stubbs today. Click Here to find your nearest clinic