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Dental Appliances Can Help You With Sleep Apnea

When you experience the symptoms related to sleep disorders it can have a profound effect on your health. Today, our Pickering dentists talk about sleep apnea and how sleep disorders can be treated using dental appliances.

Sleep Disorders: What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when you experience consistent pauses in your breathing while you are sleeping. These pauses are commonly referred to as apneas. These apneas can occur due to a physical blockage of airflow, a lack of respiratory effort, or both.

the 3 different types of sleep apnea are:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea 
  • Central sleep apnea 
  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome (occurs when someone has obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea)

What are the typical causes of sleep apnea?

When you fall asleep all of the muscles in your body relax, this includes your tongue and soft palate. For those with sleep apnea, the throat tissues and soft palate over-relax, causing them to collapse into the back of your throat, blocking the airway.

When the airway is blocked, the flow of oxygen ceases, and as a result, your brain forces you to wake up slightly to consciously resume breathing. This can occur frequently throughout the night causing a consistently disrupted sleep.

How are sleep apnea and snoring diagnosed?

Symptoms of sleep apnea include heavy snoring, headaches and migraines upon waking, restless sleep, excessive daytime fatigue, problems focusing, irritability, depression and TMJ symptoms.

Though loud snoring is a notorious symptom and may indicate a potentially serious problem, not everyone who has sleep apnea will snore. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should visit a medical professional so you can receive a proper diagnosis.

Once your issue has been diagnosed by a medical professional, your dentists can help you get a better night’s rest with a number of treatment options. We will complete a full examination of your teeth, tongue, airway and jaw, and potentially take an x-ray of your airway, to determine the right appliance for your needs.

How can dental appliances help with the symptoms of sleep apnea?

Dental appliances can help by positioning your lower jaw further forward, effectively pulling your tongue away from the throat and the soft palate to open your airway.

Here are some of the key benefits of these dental appliances:

  • Portable
  • Easy to care for
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Easy to insert and remove
  • Quiet and not disruptive to any bed partners (unlike some sleep apnea machines)
  • Convenient for travel

Why is it important for sleep apnea to be diagnosed and treated?

Falling into a deep sleep is important for the regeneration of cells and to experience restorative sleep. If you suffer from sleep apnea then you are likely not getting good quality sleep. This can play a role in many medical disorders and diseases, and reduce your life’s quality and longevity.

Complications can include a wide range of conditions from metabolic syndrome and high blood sugar, which is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. You may also experience heart problems, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes and resistance to insulin. Because of your daytime fatigue, you may be at an increased risk of workplace or motor vehicle accidents.

Your dentists can help develop a treatment plan that will get you back to having full, restful sleep.

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and would like to learn more about treatment options, contact the dentists at Pickering Smiles.

Our Pickering dentists are accepting new patients.

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(905) 839-4427