If you don’t know much about sleep apnea, you might now be aware that your dentist is who you visit to receive treatment. “Why does someone who works on my teeth have a treatment for sleep?” you might ask yourself. At Sana Dental, we can provide our patients with a variety of different sleep apnea treatments to help patients get a better night of sleep. Treating your sleep apnea in Edmonton is the key to waking up feeling rested and reducing the risk factors associated with sleep apnea. Find out how our dentist in Edmonton can help you treat your sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea?
If you have heard that your snore in the night or even stop breathing, there’s a good chance that you have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious condition that causes a person to stop breathing throughout the night when they sleep. There are two different forms of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form and one of the ones we help treat in our Edmonton dental office. OSA is when interruptions occur to the breathing, known as apneas, and the soft tissue in the airway collapses. As a result, oxygen cannot pass through the airway to reach the lungs. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain stops sending signals to the body to breathe throughout the night. The body responds as though there is a physical interruption although none actually occurs.
When a patient has sleep apnea, they typically wake up not feeling refreshed and may show symptoms of feeling lethargic and tired, depression and even having memory problems. Leaving sleep apnea untreated can a variety of mental and physical health problems. It’s important to seek treatment to reduce your risk of more serious problems like heart attacks and strokes.
How Does Sleep Apnea Impact My Health?
When you don’t sleep an adequate amount of sleep with disrupted sleep throughout the night, this is not good for your health. Sleep apnea increases your risk for several different chronic mental and physical health problems. When you have sleep apnea, your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, mood disorders, strokes, depression, mania, bipolar disorder as well as dysthymia goes up. In addition, if you have sleep apnea, you are more likely to develop diabetes. There is a strong link between being overweight or obese and having sleep apnea. This might be because larger necks contain more tissue which can block the airway.
Sleep apnea also impacts your health by forcing you to feel chronically fatigued. When you feel this tired all the time, you can harm yourself or others while driving or when operating any heavy machinery. It’s common for sleep apnea sufferers to fall asleep while driving. In addition, this will affect how clearly you think. You might also feel irritable all the time.
How Your Dentist Can Help Treat Sleep Apnea
At Sana Dental, our dentist is here to help you gain a better night of sleep through our different sleep apnea treatments. First, you will need to be officially diagnosed with sleep apnea from your physician. Dentists cannot legally diagnose you; however, they can treat you. Diagnosis usually includes a consultation and then a sleep study either in a hospital or a take-home kit. Your doctor will evaluate your night of sleep to determine if you have sleep apnea. Once you are diagnosed, your doctor will try to find out the cause of your sleep apnea. In the case that your airway collapses during the night, that is when you will be directed to a dentist. Other causes of sleep apnea can include overlarge tonsils or deviated septum. Your doctor will advise you which treatment plan is right for you.
If your doctor insists that you need to see a dentist for your sleep apnea treatment, you can pay us a visit at our Edmonton dental office and we can help you find the right treatment plan for your mouth. At Sana Dental, we offer the following treatments for sleep apnea: CPAP and oral appliances. A CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) delivers a constant stream of air into your lungs to help keep your throat open all night. This allows you to keep breathing while you sleep. Unfortunately, a lot of patients find these machines to be a bit too noisy or uncomfortable to use.
Our other treatment option is an oral appliance. Our oral appliances are custom made to push your jaw forward to open your airway while you sleep. Oral appliances are ideal for those patients who have mild to moderate sleep apnea and need their jaws repositioned. Over time, use of oral appliances can help your airway become stronger. This can help reduce or even eliminate apneas while you sleep. These tend to be more comfortable to wear while sleeping than a CPAP machine and patients actually use them more regularly.
The Benefits of Sleep Apnea Treatment in Edmonton
After just a few nights of using one of our sleep apnea treatments, you will find that you’re waking up feeling so much better. Some of the top benefits of sleep apnea treatment include increased energy! You won’t feel lethargic and tired during the day anymore which is good news, especially for driving. In addition, your irritability and mood swings or other mental health problems may disappear. Next, some of the biggest benefits include a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and heart attacks. This is all good news!
Natural Treatments for Sleep Apnea
Outside of wearing an oral appliance at night, you can also take some matters into your own hands. We recommend that if a patient has sleep apnea and they are overweight that they try to lose weight to be in a healthy range. In addition, patients should exercise regularly and avoid alcohol and drugs that may affect sleep. Between exercise, losing weight and avoiding substances, you may cure your sleep apnea and no longer need to wear an oral appliance.
Contact Sana Dental for Sleep Apnea Treatment in Edmonton
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea or have heard complaints that you snore loudly or stop breathing throughout the night, it might be time to visit your doctor. Once you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, you can pay our Edmonton dentist a visit for one of our treatment options. Give us a call or fill out our online form and we will be in touch.