Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can impact your health. There are many dental appliances that can help treat this disorder. Here, we explain some of your options.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is the presence of abnormally shallow breathing and pauses in breathing when you sleep. This can occur because of blockages to airflow, lack of respiratory effort or a combination.
What causes sleep apnea?
When you fall into a deep sleep, your throat tissues, tongue and soft palate relax. Sleep apnea means these tissues over-relax, collapsing them into the back of your throat and blocking the airway.
When your airway is blocked, the flow of oxygen stops and your brain forces you to wake up a bit to consciously start breathing again. These episodes can happen many, many times per night, severely disrupting sleep.
How are snoring and sleep apnea diagnosed?
The symptoms of sleep apnea include headaches, migraines, heavy snoring, restless sleep excessive fatigue, irritability, TMJ symptoms, depression and issues focusing. If you notice any of these, visit a medical professional to get a diagnosis.
Once you've been diagnosed, your dentist will be able to help you get a better night's rest with a few different treatment options. They will conduct a full examination of your tongue, teeth, jaw and airway. They may also take an X-ray of your airway to determine the right appliance for your needs.
What sleep apnea devices or oral appliances can help?
Dental appliances can help you by positioning your jaw forward and pulling your tongue away from your throat to open your airway. These dental appliances are generally:
- Comfortable to wear
- Easy to care for
- Convenient for travel
- Easy to insert and remove
- Quiet and not disruptive to any bed partners (unlike some sleep apnea machines)
Why is it important to treat sleep apnea?
If you have sleep apnea, you won't be able to fall into a deep and restorative sleep to recharge your brain and body. This may play a role in medical disorders or diseases and reduce your quality of life.
By treating sleep apnea, your dentist can help you improve and protect your overall health and wellbeing.
Are you suffering from sleep apnea and are looking for a dental appliance to help?
A dentist will be happy to answer any questions and give you detailed information about your treatment options.