Sleep Apnea

If you snore or have trouble breathing while you're asleep, you may suffer from Sleep Apnea. Your Orijin Integrated Dentistry team in Southwest Calgary is here to help you conquer this serious breathing disorder.

Sleep Apnea is a common sleep-related breathing disorder, which also includes 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.

Snoring Dental Appliances

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. 

Sleep Disordered Breathing and Sleep Apnea

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, coordination, 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.

Getting to a Good Night's Sleep

Sleep Apnea Services, Calgary DentistThere are two main types of Apnea:

  • Central Apnea – won’t breathe – tends to be neurological or biochemical
  • Obstructive Apnea – can’t breathe – usually due to airway issues

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 the 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.

Treating Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea can be treated in several ways, depending on cause and severity. These treatments include the following:

  • Surgery
  • CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine: The CPAP machine blows air down your throat at night to keep your airways open while you sleep
  • MAD (Oral Mandibular Advancing) device: The MAD is a mouth device you wear when you sleep and holds your jaw forward to open your airway and prevent your tongue from dropping backward, which can block your airway.
  • Orthodontics, and perhaps orthognathic surgery
  • Diet and lifestyle

Common Causes of Sleep Apnea

  • Airway is too small or is inflamed 
  • Orthodontic issues – jaws that are too small…either upper, lower, or both.
  • Tonsil and/or adenoid enlargement. 
  • Digestive tract issues, which can lead to an imbalance of the normal microorganisms in your digestive tract, which includes your mouth and throat

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!

Before we may be able to help you get a good night’s sleep, Sleep Apnea requires assessment by a physician doctor. Book your Sleep Apnea consultation today. Request Appointment

Looking for a dentist in Calgary? All of our comprehensive services are provided by General Dentists. We look forward to meeting you!

All services provided by general dentists: Dr. Young and Dr. Oommen

(403) 777-2100