The number of people suffering from sleep apnea worldwide is in the millions. It can lead to serious health issues if left untreated, making it essential to seek appropriate medical attention. While most people associate sleep apnea with respiratory specialists or sleep clinics, they might be surprised to learn that dentists can play a crucial role in managing this condition.
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In this blog post, we will explore the connection between sleep apnea and dentistry, along with the available treatment options.
Understanding Sleep Apnea:
Recurring pauses in breathing when sleeping are known as sleep apnea. An interruption can last for a few seconds to minutes, as the muscles in the throat relax, narrowing or completely blocking the airway. This disruption results in reduced oxygen supply to the body and brain, causing the affected individual to wake up momentarily to resume breathing.
Types of Sleep Apnea:
1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA):
A majority of people with sleep apnea suffer from this type, which accounts for 80-90% of cases. A person with OSA experiences repeated breathing pauses as a result of the muscles at the back of their throat failing to maintain the airway open.
2. Central Sleep Apnea (CSA):
CSA occurs when the brain and breathing muscles are unable to communicate effectively. It results in disturbed breathing patterns during sleep because the brain fails to send the appropriate signals.
The Role of Sleep Apnea Dentist:
A sleep apnea dentist plays an important role in diagnosing, treating, and managing the condition. Dentists who specialize in sleep apnea dentistry are trained to identify the signs and symptoms of the disorder, providing valuable insights and customized solutions to improve patients’ sleep quality and overall health.
Sleep apnea is a Sleep Disorder, if left untreated, can have profound consequences on an individual’s overall health and well-being. It is not only a sleep disorder but also a condition that can impact various systems and organs in the body.
- Mouth Breathing and Dry Mouth:
- Tooth Grinding
- Teeth Sensitivity
- Tooth Enamel Erosion
Sleep Apnea and Systemic Health Problems:
Sleep apnea is not limited to affecting just oral health; it can also contribute to systemic health problems. The recurrent interruptions in breathing and decreased oxygen levels in the body can have far-reaching effects on various organs and systems, including:
- Cardiovascular System
- Metabolic Health
- Cognitive Function
- Mental Health
How is Obstructive Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?
Diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea involves a comprehensive evaluation that combines clinical assessment, medical history review, and diagnostic tests. A sleep specialist or dentist specializing in sleep apnea dentistry may refer you if you suspect you may have sleep apnea.
Common diagnostic methods of this Sleep Disorder include:
- Sleep Study
- Home Sleep Test
1. Oral Appliance Therapy:
A custom-made oral appliance prevents airway obstruction by repositioning the jaw and tongue during sleep. These appliances are comfortable, non-invasive, and easy to use, making them a popular treatment option for mild to moderate sleep apnea cases.
2. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP):
CPAP is a widely recognized treatment for sleep apnea. In this technique, the user wears a mask over the nose or mouth during sleep, which keeps the airway open by supplying constant air pressure. Dentists can work closely with sleep specialists to ensure the proper fit and comfort of the CPAP mask.
3. Lifestyle Modifications:
Dentists also offer advice about lifestyle adjustments that could reduce the effects associated with sleep apnea. This may include weight management, avoiding alcohol and sedatives, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, and practicing proper sleep hygiene.
If you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea, seeking the expertise of a sleep apnea dentist can be a game-changer. Aberdeen Dental Centre, located in Vernon, BC, is known for its exceptional dental care services, including sleep apnea dentistry. Their team of skilled professionals can diagnose, treat, and manage sleep apnea, improving your sleep quality and overall well-being.
Don’t let sleep apnea impact your daily life Take the first step to an unwinding night’s sleep by making a make an appointment with Aberdeen Dental Centre today as reliable Sleep Apnea Dentist Vernon BC.
Be aware that addressing sleep apnea is essential to keeping good health.