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Dental Appliances Can Help You With Sleep Apnea

If you experience the symptoms of a sleep disorder then you know how it can affect your health on a daily basis. But what can you do about it? Today, our Belleville dentists talk about the effects of sleep apnea and how dental appliances can help you manage the symptoms.

Sleep Apnea and The Effects of Sleep Disorders

If you experience sleep apnea then you have pauses in your breathing while you are sleeping. These pauses are referred to as apneas. These apneas can occur due to a physical blockage of airflow, a lack of respiratory effort, or both.

There are three types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea 
  • Central sleep apnea 
  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome (a combination of both)

Are there any specific causes of sleep apnea?

The soft palate of your mouth relaxes along with the rest of your body while you are sleeping. For those with sleep apnea, the throat tissues and soft palate over-relax, which can cause a blockage in your airway.

When the airway is blocked, the flow of oxygen ceases, and as a result, your brain forces you to wake up slightly to consciously resume breathing. These episodes may happen hundreds of times a night, seriously disrupting your sleep.

What should you expect from a diagnosis of sleep apnea?

Symptoms of sleep apnea include

  • Heavy Snoring
  • Headaches / Migraines
  • Restless Sleep
  • Excessive Daytime Fatigue
  • Problems Focusing
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • TMJ Symptoms.

When you experience sleep apnea you may also snore while you are sleeping, just as some people who snore may have sleep apnea. Even so, these two conditions do not always go hand in hand. You will need to schedule an appointment with a medical professional for a proper diagnosis.

Once you have been officially diagnosed with sleep apnea your dentist may be able to offer recommendations for treatment such as dental appliances. We will complete a full examination of your teeth, tongue, airway and jaw, and potentially take an x-ray of your airway, to determine the right appliance for your needs.

What is the benefit of dental appliances for sleep apnea?

Dental appliances can help by positioning your lower jaw further forward, effectively pulling your tongue away from the throat and the soft palate to open your airway. These dental appliances are:

  • Portable
  • 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

What is the effect of untreated sleep apnea on your body?

When you sleep you allow your body the chance to repair itself. Unfortunately, those who experience sleep apnea do not get the benefits of this deep sleep. This can play a role in many medical disorders and diseases, and reduce your life’s quality and longevity.

Complications can include a wide range of conditions from metabolic syndrome and high blood sugar, which is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. You may also experience heart problems, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes and resistance to insulin. Because of your daytime fatigue, you may be at an increased risk of workplace or motor vehicle accidents.

Your dentist can help you care for your overall health through the treatment of sleep apnea using dental appliances.

To learn more about sleep apnea and treatment options that can help, contact the dentists at dentalhouse Victoria Dental Arts.

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