Sleep apnea is a disorder that occurs when a person’s normal breathing is interrupted while sleeping. It is a severe sleep disorder, and in some cases, breathing sometimes stops hundreds of times during the night. This lack of breath means that the brain and other areas of the body may not be getting enough oxygen.
There are two types of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) which is the most common and central sleep apnea. OSA is the most common type, and it occurs when the airway is blocked. This usually happens when soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses while sleeping. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain does not indicate to the muscles to breathe.
- Males are more likely to suffer
- Having extra body weight
- Those over the age of 40 are at a higher risk
- A large tongue
- Neck size of 17 inches or larger for males
- Neck size of 16 inches or larger for females
- Large tonsils
- A small jaw bone
- History of sleep apnea in the family
- GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Deviated septum
- Allergies that cause nasal obstructions
- Having a sore or dry throat when waking up
- Snoring loudly
- Waking with a gasping sensation
- Drowsiness during the lack
- Lack of energy during the day
- Feeling sleepy when driving
- Headaches in the morning
- Sleep that is restless
- Forgetfulness and mood changes
Left untreated, it can lead to poor performance at work, school, vehicle crashes, and low academic results in younger children.
Mile cases may be treated by doing the following:
- Reducing weight to a healthier level
- Limiting or avoiding alcohol and sleeping pills
- Adjusting sleeping positions to make breathing easier
- Quitting smoking
- Avoiding or limiting sleeping on your back
CPAP Device – Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
This treatment uses a mask that is worn over the nose and sometimes the mouth while sleeping. A continuous flow of air is provided to the mask, which enters the nose. This constant flow of air keeps the airways open to allow regular breathing.
Dental devices can be made that help keep the airway open during sleep. Most are made of acrylic and fit inside your mouth, similar to a sports mouth guard. Some are fitted around your head or chin so that they can adjust the position of your jaw. Some devices help to open your airway by moving the jaw or tongue forward during sleep. Dental devices are most useful for treating mild to moderate cases.
If you are suffering from sleep apnea or believe you may be, contact us now to schedule an appointment for a complimentary consultation.
About Dr. Joseph Salvaggio
Located in Brampton, Ontario Dr. Joseph Salvaggio has been practicing general, cosmetic, and implant dentistry for over 20 years. He enjoys interacting with his patients and helping to restore their oral health for better overall health as well. Meeting new patients, interacting and educating them is one of Dr. Salvaggio’s biggest joys. We encourage you to read our reviews or call us with any dental questions you have. We look forward to speaking with you and meeting you soon.