Obstructive Sleep Apnea and How Dentistry Can Help
Approximately 858,900 Canadian adults have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, according to the most recent Canadian Community Health Survey. In addition, more than one-quarter of Canadian adults say they have symptoms and risk factors that put them at a higher risk of having sleep apnea or developing the condition in the future.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that’s characterised as intermittent breathing, gasping and or snoring while you sleep. Sleep apnea causes prolonged pauses in breathing throughout the night, resulting in poor sleep quality. These pauses are involuntary and can happen hundreds of times during the night, lasting for at least ten seconds but do not fully awaken the person. These episodes can last for more than one minute and affect the supply of oxygen to the body and cause a range of associated medical issues.
There are various types of Sleep Apnea, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) being a very common one. Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when your throat muscles intermittently relax and block your airway during sleep. A noticeable sign of obstructive sleep apnea is snoring. There are various treatment options for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
How Dentists Can Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea
If you are diagnosed with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, your dentist may be able to provide suitable treatment involving an oral appliance. For patients diagnosed with mild to moderate OSA, a dentist can custom-design and fit an oral appliance, known as a mandibular advancement device. It works by pushing the jaw forward, keeping the tongue in position and opening up the airway to avoid obstruction and snoring.
Mandibular advancement devices, sometimes called dental sleep devices look like mouthguards,and push the lower jaw forward. In this position, the muscles which collapse during apneas tighten so that they can’t fall down. Over time, oral appliances can make the airway stronger and more rigid so that they can reduce or eliminate apneas. Some are adjustable, allowing users to alter the position where the jaw sits when they’re in place.
Dentists assess their patients’ teeth, mouths, and temporomandibular joints to determine whether they are good candidates for mandibular advancement devices. If they are suitable, dentists create models of their teeth. Specialists use these models to craft oral appliances that fit patients’ mouths. This proper fit is important since an incorrectly fitted device can cause jaw damage. Patients wear their devices while they sleep to alleviate their sleep apnea symptoms.
Give us a call if you have any questions or book your consultation with our dentists.
We will gladly answer any questions you may have.Ask Questions
Alexandra Park Dental offers the ability to request your dentist appointments online. Schedule an appointment now!Book Online
New Patient Forms
By filling out the New Patient Forms ahead of time you will save significant time on your visit.New Patient Forms
Dental Hygiene & Cleanings Leduc.
Preventive dentistry is the key to a long-lasting, healthy smile. Professional dental care is just as essential as brushing and flossing regularly. Preventative care in the form of professional dental services is crucial to avoiding difficult and expensive dental issues later on.