When you have sleep apnea and don't get enough sleep, it can harm your health and how you feel. At North Vancouver, our dentists can tell you about dental devices that can assist with this condition.
About Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition that affects breathing while a person is sleeping. It is identified by abnormal breathing pauses (called apneas) or shallow breathing. These breathing problems can happen because something is blocking the airflow or because the person is not making enough effort to breathe. There are three different types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Central sleep apnea
- Complex sleep apnea syndrome (occurs when someone has obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea)
Causes Of Sleep Apnea
When you fall into deep sleep, your throat muscles loosen up, including the soft palate and tongue. But for people with sleep apnea, these tissues relax too much and fall back into the throat, making breathing hard.
This can happen many times during the night, making it difficult for you to get a good night's rest because your brain wakes you up to start breathing again. It can happen over and over, causing you to wake up multiple times and making it hard to get a good night's sleep.
Diagnosing Snoring & Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can cause a variety of symptoms, such as loud snoring, morning headaches, feeling tired during the day, difficulty focusing, and even depression.
Even if you don't snore, it's important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis if you have any of these symptoms. Once you have a diagnosis, your dentist can offer several treatment options to help you sleep better.
We'll examine your teeth, tongue, airway, and jaw, and may take x-rays to find the best appliance for you.
Devices Available For Sleep Apnea
Dental appliances can help by further positioning your lower jaw, effectively pulling your tongue away from the throat and soft palate to open your airway. These dental appliances are:
- 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
Treatment For Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can prevent you from getting deep and restful sleep that refreshes your brain and body. This can lead to many medical problems and diseases, and can affect your quality of life and how long you live.
Sleep apnea can cause various issues, such as metabolic syndrome, high blood sugar, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and daytime fatigue.
As a result, you may be more likely to have workplace or motor vehicle accidents. Fortunately, treating sleep apnea with your dentist can improve your overall health and wellbeing.