If you snore, or have trouble breathing while you're asleep, you may suffer from Sleep Apnea. Your Orijin Integrated Dentistry team is here to help you conquer this serious breathing disorder.
Sleep Apnea is a common sleep-related breathing disorder, which also include upper airway resistance syndrome and snoring.
Patients with sleep apnea experience pauses in their breathing, or very shallow breathing, during sleep. The pauses can last from a few seconds to over a minute, and occur as many as 30 times an hour or more.
A dental appliance to help open your airway and prevent you from snoring can help you get a better nights sleep. The snoring mouthpiece moves your lower jaw forward. This maneuver opens the back of the throat which reduces and can stop snoring in many patients.
When breathing is paused during sleep, patients usually move into a lighter phase of sleep, or wake entirely. The result is a disrupted sleep pattern and less restful sleep. This can lead to significant health issues including a huge increase in your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Sleep Apnea can also lead to hypertension, grinding of your teeth, headaches, depression, obesity and weight gain, low energy, daytime sleepiness, and accidents while operating equipment, including your car.
Unfortunately, Sleep Apnea often can go undetected. It’s so important to realize that snoring is not necessarily just noise…it may be a sign of something that can influence your health in a very significant way.
It’s also important to know that sleep apnea may not include snoring at all ( in which cases, it's called silent apnea).
Sleep Apnea can occur in children as well, and can lead to challenges in neurological development, growth, immunity, co-ordination, behaviour, failure to thrive and more.
Early diagnosis of Sleep Apnea, including airway issues and jaw and skull development issues, is critical for your child’s health.
There are two main types of Apnea:
There are also combinations of both (complex or mixed).
Proper diagnosis is the first step. Your dentist can identify risk factors, including airway size, tongue size, jaw size and so on. Your dentist will consult with a medical practitioner who practices sleep medicine for the final diagnosis of the issue, as well as its severity.
The most accurate way of assessing a sleep issue is called a polysomnograph (PSG), which is done in a sleep lab, but in many cases, a home sleep test (HST) can be used.
Once it is understood what the diagnosis is, and what severity, one can begin to look at cause. Together with a supporting network of health practitioners (M.D, Chiropractor, Naturopath or Nutritionist), dentists and your health team will work to develop a treatment plan to help you manage your Sleep Apnea once and for all.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea can be treated in several ways, depending on cause and severity. These treatments include the following:
We will always work with a qualified medical doctor trained in sleep medicine to arrive at your final diagnosis and treatment plan that is best for you. Sleep Apnea is serious concern that must be properly assessed and diagnosed for your health, safety, quality of life and longevity.
If you would like to learn more information about sleep and your health, watch this video today!
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