Sleep Apnea - What It Is & Treatment Options

Sleep is vital to your health and overall well-being. That's why dentists offer solutions for sleep disorders, like sleep apnea. Here, our Parksville dentists explain what sleep apnea is and how they can help with treatment options. 

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is characterized by abnormal breathing pauses (apneas) or shallow breathing during sleep. These apneas can happen because of a physical blockage to airflow, a lack of respiratory effort, or both. 

What causes sleep apnea?

Your tongue, soft palate, and throat tissues unwind when you get into a deep sleep. The tongue, soft palate, and throat tissues actually overstretch when a person has sleep apnea, which leads to their collapsing into the back of the throat and obstructing the airway. Your brain will make you awaken so that you can consciously resume breathing if the oxygen supply is cut off. Numerous times per night, these mini-episodes can happen.

How do I know if I have sleep apnea?

The signs of sleep apnea include difficulty concentrating, loud snoring, headaches and migraines, fatigue, restless sleep, depression, irritability, and TMJ symptoms. You should visit a doctor for a professional evaluation if you experience any of these symptoms so they can make an accurate diagnosis.

If your dentist determines that you have symptoms of sleep apnea, you may be asked to have a sleep evaluation with a sleep specialist or may order an overnight sleep study to objectively evaluate for sleep apnea.

How can sleep apnea be treated?

Many people do not get enough sleep. A prolonged lack of sleep can lead to some major health problems like diabetes, heart disease, depression, and obesity. A major cause of poor sleep is sleep apnea, which is when breathing stops and starts during sleep.

Once you've been diagnosed by a medical professional, your dentists may be able to help you achieve a better night’s sleep with a variety of treatment options.

By moving your lower jaw forward, oral appliances can assist in clearing your airway by causing your tongue to move away from your soft palate and throat. You can improve your breathing and get more restful sleep by adopting healthy lifestyle choices like losing weight, exercising, and sleeping on your side. Find the best course of treatment with the assistance of your dentist.

Why is it important to treat sleep apnea?

You cannot achieve the deep, restorative sleep necessary to restore your body and mind if you have sleep apnea. The quality and length of your life may be impacted, as well as a number of medical disorders.

By treating sleep apnea, your dentist can help you improve and protect your overall health and well-being. 

To learn more about sleep apnea and the treatment options available, contact the dentists at Wembley Dental Clinic.

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