If you wake up gasping for air during sleep or your sleep partner has mentioned that you snore regularly, you might have sleep apnea. If not treated, sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that can lead to serious health complications like heart problems, blood pressure, diabetes, respiratory problems, and memory issues.
Untreated sleep apnea causes accidents, poor school performance, and work-related injuries. While sleep apnea can affect anyone, it’s most common among overweight and older men.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that interrupts normal breathing during sleep. The common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, when the throat muscles relax and collapse, causing sleep apnea. Breathing usually resumes with a loud gasp.
There’s also central sleep apnea, which happens when the brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. It’s linked to a malfunctioning central nervous system. The last and rarest type of sleep apnea is complex sleep apnea syndrome.
Regardless of which type of apnea you have, these sleep apnea episodes often happen numerous times. It can interfere with your sleep and reduce oxygen flow to the vital organs, causing heart rhythm irregularities. For this reason, you should consult your doctor or dentist if you think you might have sleep apnea.
Sometimes the signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apnea can overlap. Therefore, it can be difficult to diagnose which type you have. Common signs and symptoms include:
Whether you have mild, moderate, or severe sleep apnea, it’s essential to seek sleep apnea treatment near you to improve sleep quality and ensure sufficient oxygen flow to vital organs.
Specific factors that can increase your risk of apnea include:
Your dentist or doctor can recommend the following treatments:
Conservative treatments. Patients with mild symptoms should improve their lifestyles. It can include:
Mechanical Therapy. Your dentist can recommend positive Airway Pressure (PAP) therapy. CPAP is the most commonly used PAP device. You have a mask to wear over the mouth or nose. The CPAP machine then blows air through the nose and mouth.
The air pressure is usually higher than that in your room environment. The continuous air pressure helps prevent the airway tissues from collapsing when sleeping. While the machine might feel uncomfortable initially, you’ll get used to it. Other types of mechanical therapy include Bi-Level PAP, Auto CPAP or Auto Bi-Level PAP, and Adaptive Servo-Ventilation (ASV).
Mandibular Advancement Devices. For moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea, your dentist can recommend oral devices like tongue suppressers or nightguards. The tongue suppresser prevents the tongue from relaxing too much and closing the airway. Dental appliances like nightguards help align your jaw to keep your airway open.Surgery. If the conservative and mechanical therapies don’t help, your dentist or doctor can recommend surgery. Common surgical procedures for sleep apnea include:
For more information about sleep apnea treatment in Calgary, AB, contact Sunridge Dental Clinic to book an appointment with our dentist in Northeast Calgary, AB.