Sleep Apnea

Where did a good night’s sleep go to?

sleep-apnea-airdrieHave you found it difficult to sleep at night? Do you find yourself waking up from time to time with difficulty breathing? You may be suffering from something called sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is one of a number of sleep disorders but in this case the sufferer usually has trouble breathing at night while asleep. People who are experiencing sleep apnea actually stop breathing while asleep; sometimes as many as a hundred times in a night. This could mean that the person may fail to get sufficient oxygen.

This is serious, but there are dental treatment options available.


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What you never knew about sleep apnea

There is no specific risk factor associated with sleep apnea and it can affect any person of any age.

However there are a number of possible risk factors including

  • being a male;
  • being overweight;
  • being older than 40 years of age;
  • possessing a particularly large neck size;
  • possessing big tonsils, a big tongue, or a having a small jaw;
  • when a close family member has had sleep apnea;
  • being a victim of gastroesophageal reflux;
  • having a nasal obstruction as a result of a deviated septum, an allergy, or a sinus problem.

There are actually two different types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the more common type is due to an obstructed airway, often caused by the tissue located at the back of the throat collapsing while the victim sleeps and the throat muscles relax.

Dental treatment options could help to relieve breathing problems associated with OSA. Your bite can often be related to the way the airways are and the breathing patterns. Dental treatment options involve repositioning the bite and jaws to allow for better breathing through the airways.

If the condition is not treated and as sleep deprivation often takes place there are a number of health issues and symptoms that could occur, which include:

  • elevated blood pressure;
  • stroke;
  • depression;
  • irregular heartbeats, heart attacks and heart failure;
  • diabetes;
  • decrease in job performance;
  • relationship problems;
  • memory loss;
  • difficulty concentrating;
  • headaches;
  • fatigue

Due to the quite debilitating side effects of sleep apnea, if the symptoms are not treated it could be responsible for poorer performance in day to day tasks, like at work and school, while driving a motor vehicle and underachievement in academic work of children and adolescents.

Fortunately, sleep apnea has been studied quite extensively and you may be surprised to find that your dentist can help provide a solution.

A dentist may be able to help with sleep apnea

sleep-apnea-device-airdrieYou First Dental, here in Airdrie, may be able to help relieve your sleep apnea symptoms, especially if it is OSA you are suffering from. It is important to determine how your sleep apnea developed and what is causing it. This will provide clues to possible treatment options.

We can also offer help on how you can study your sleep habits so you can determine how seriously affected you are by sleep apnea and why you are always tired.

If we discover that your sleep apnea is weight related we can’t really help you directly with that, but we can help by fitting a sleep apnea device such as a tongue retaining appliance. This appliance fits in your mouth and you use it overnight to prevent your tongue restricting your airways. It positions your tongue further forwards so that it is unable to collapse when your muscles relax.


SLEEP DISORDER CONSULTATION

Time to get a good night’s sleep

Sleep apnea can be much more of an inconvenience. It can affect your lifestyle and overall health as well as impinge on your family. Treatment options for sleep apnea and snoring are available; you can book an appointment or free consultation for us to discuss these together.

Your symptoms will be assessed and we should be able to devise a plan that will set you on the road to a well deserved good night’s sleep.

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