Our dentists at Jubilee Dental Centre discuss how dentists can assist you in obtaining a sleep apnea diagnosis and resolving your concerns in this post.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that causes shallow breaths and breathing pauses while sleeping. These breathing pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes and can happen up to 30 times (or more) per night. Normal breathing resumes after each pause, usually with a choking sound or a loud snort.
As you might expect, breathing problems can disrupt your sleep and lead to a number of complications that can have a negative impact on your overall health, such as an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and heart attack. It raises your chances of developing an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and getting into a car or work-related accident.
Why does sleep apnea often go undiagnosed?
Sleep apnea is frequently misdiagnosed because it cannot be detected by a blood test or during a routine checkup. We recommend scheduling a consultation with our team if your family or bed partner has mentioned that you snore loudly or stop breathing while sleeping. Based on our assessment of your patient's sleep apnea symptoms, we can advise you on the next steps.
How can my dentist help treat my sleep apnea?
If you've been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your dentist can recommend a variety of sleep apnea treatments based on your specific needs and whether you have mild or severe sleep apnea.
Mild Sleep Apnea
To treat moderate or mild sleep apnea, simple, non-invasive options such as oral appliances or weight loss management are frequently used (since being overweight is sometimes a primary cause of sleep apnea).
Our dental team can help you lose weight, which can be used in conjunction with other treatment options to help you get rid of your sleep apnea symptoms.
Severe sleep Apnea
Dentists usually offer CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) to patients with severe sleep apnea, which is the most widely used treatment for obstructive sleep apnea and uses air pressure to keep the airway open while you sleep. Inspire therapy is a treatment option for patients who cannot or do not achieve consistent benefits from CPAP.
Inspire monitors your breathing while you sleep and sends mild stimulation to the nerve that controls the movement of your tongue and other muscles in your airway to keep the airway open while you sleep.