Sleep apnea is a serious disorder in which your breathing is interrupted severely causing you to wake up from your sleep. This could happen as often as a hundred times in one night.
When you sleep, your muscles relax so that they can repair and rejuvenate themselves for the next day. The muscles in your mouth are no different – they also relax during sleep.
It is estimated that in 18 million U.S. adults, these muscles and other soft fatty tissues in the mouth relax so much that they block the upper airway and prevent oxygen from getting into the body. When this happens, the flow of oxygen to your brain and other vital organs is cut short, and this could cause significant damage.
Sleep apnea is associated with a multitude of negative side effects including:
• Heart disease
• High blood pressure
• Heart attack
• Increased risk of diabetes
• Heart arrhythmias
People with no teeth tend to experience worse sleep apnea symptoms. Most of them wear dentures and usually take them out at night before going to sleep. This may lead to breathing difficulties which may disrupt sleep.
When you remove your dentures, the firm structure of your mouth collapses because the soft tissues are no longer supported. The result is recurring occurrences of apnea.
Studies by H. Arisaka, prove that people who go to sleep with their dentures on see a significant increase in Apnea-Hyponea Index (AHI) than those who sleep without. This means that removing your dentures before sleep could greatly worsen the effects of sleep apnea.
Dentures will help support the extra soft tissues in your mouth and prevent the blockage of normal airflow during breathing, thereby giving you a good night sleep.
For patients who are uncomfortable with wearing CPAP masks, dentures can be a great alternative. Dentures should be properly fitted by a professional dentist.
Some additional advantages of using dentures for your apnea include:
• Small and portable: Unlike other sleep apnea treatments, dentures are small enough to fit in your carry-on bag, hence easy to transport.
• Ease of use: Dentures are easy to wear. And for most people, it only takes a few days to get used to sleeping with dentures in the mouth.
Treating your sleep apnea using dentures can reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. It will also improve your emotional stability, daytime alertness, and concentration.
Nonetheless, you should first consult with your dentist before using dentures for your sleep apnea.
At You First Dental in Airdrie, our patients’ satisfaction is always our number one priority. Call us today at 403-948-3342 and make an appointment with Dr. Buchanan to discuss your options.
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