Science has long proved that humans need to get a good night’s sleep of at least seven to nine hours. Not getting this recommended rest can have serious effects on your mental, physical, and psychological health. Further, research stresses that the quality of sleep is more important than the number of hours. Many people display the effects of insomnia even though they spend the required time sleeping. And, sleep apnea could be the culprit. It may interest you to know that according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, close to 5.4 million adults in Canada have this condition. Consider getting sleep apnea treatment in Calgary, and you might find that your overall health is improving. You’re more productive at work and you feel wonderful about life.
Surprisingly, You Could Have Sleep Apnea and Not Know It!
The National Sleep Foundation has some interesting facts. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common condition with many people developing the problem when they are still kids. Should you visit our sleep apnea clinic, you’ll learn that both men and women can have the problem that interferes with normal sleep patterns.
So, what exactly is sleep apnea? When you’re asleep, the loose tissues at the back of your throat collapse effectively cutting off your air supply. To cope with the lack of air, your brain triggers a response where you wake up a little. Once you change positions, you go back to sleep right away. This wake and sleep cycle repeats without your being aware of it. While you probably have no recollection of waking up, the constant switching makes it hard to get a good night’s rest. For this reason, you may have all the signs of disturbed sleep even though you go to bed at the right time. And, wake up eight hours later. Many patients wake many times during the night or have a shallow quality of sleep.
Identifying the Causes of Sleep Apnea
When you visit our clinic for treatment for sleep apnea, the doctor will begin by asking you a series of questions. The answers you provide will help understand the problem and work out solutions.
- Has your sleeping partner mentioned that you snore at night?
- How much do you weigh? (Patients who are overweight with a large neck size or folds of tissue around the neck might have the problem.)
- Do you smoke?
- Do you drink excessive alcohol?
- Are you sleepy during the day?
- Do you wake up in the morning feeling more exhausted than when you went to bed?
- Does the grogginess make it hard to focus on work?
- Do you feel like you might fall asleep when driving?
Like the expert doctors at our clinic for sleep apnea treatment in Calgary will explain, dental issues can also cause the problem. Having a smaller lower jaw or large overbite is one of the reasons why you have OSA or snore. Often times, the dentist will recommend that you get a night guard for teeth grinding that can also help with the snoring.
Why Treating Sleep Apnea is Important
Snoring and being an annoyance to your bed partner isn’t the only reason you should get treatment at our clinic for sleep apnea. Research has identified a whole range of health problems you risk. Here are some of the important ones you should know about.
- Patients with OSA possibly stop breathing several times in a single night. Since each episode could last for 60 seconds or more, you risk depriving your brain and other organs of oxygen. As a result, the brain is unable to work properly or send nerve signals to the organs for optimum functioning.
- Low blood oxygenation can result in various other issues like hypertension, heart disease, and heart arrhythmias. That’s because jerky breathing patterns can stress the muscles of the heart.
- You risk diabetes and obesity because of the body’s inability to create and process sufficient insulin. Both of these illnesses are closely linked to stress that results from inadequate restful sleep.
- Depression and anxiety can also result from a lack of proper sleep.
- Patients with sleep apnea tend to develop sore throats and rasping voices because of the dry air passing through the air passages.
Aside from health and psychological issues, you may have noticed that you’re irritable all the time. You often feel confused and find it hard to focus on work. All of these point to sleep apnea. A visit to our dental facility for treating sleep apnea will help you understand the importance of getting the right solutions for the problem.
Dental Problems Can Result from Sleep Apnea
As the expert dentist at our clinic for sleep apnea treatment in Calgary will explain, sleep apnea is both the cause and effect of dental problems. Here’s how:
- Most patients who have sleep apnea tend to sleep with their mouth open. As a result, the oral cavity dries out. Without the protective flushing of oxygen-rich saliva, you could develop a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. Over time, the bacteria results in cavities and tooth decay.
- When you stop breathing, the brain stimulates you to change positions by clenching the teeth. Many patients develop bruxism or the habit of teeth grinding. You could wear down the enamel of the teeth and develop tooth sensitivity. Cracked and broken teeth are often the result. You may have to go in for restorative dental procedures to repair the damage. Such treatments are often expensive and you may find that you have to cover the costs on your own. Typically, insurance providers don’t cover the charges of cosmetic dentistry. A more practical option is to visit our clinic for sleep apnea treatment in Calgary.
- The constant clenching of teeth can lead to jaw pain and Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ). You’ll have symptoms like headaches accompanied by difficulty in opening and closing your mouth. Pain in the jaw when chewing food, and stress in the neck and shoulders are often a result of TMJ. And, the cause could be sleep apnea.
Dental Issues Can Cause Sleep Apnea
In some patients, dental problems can cause sleep apnea. If you snore at night, it’s best that you talk about it to your dentist at the sleep apnea treatment in Calgary. She’ll examine you and make the necessary recommendations.
- Patients who suffer from sleep apnea typically have a small lower jaw bone as compared to the upper jaw. The lack of support pushes the tongue and uvula into the air passages. Teeth grinding guards prove to be a practical solution since the appliance holds the tongue in place.
- Misalignment of the upper and lower jaws also causes sleep apnea and snoring.
- If the size of the tongue is too big and blocks the air passages, it could sag and block your air passages when you’re asleep.
Diagnosing Disturbed Sleep Patterns
A visit to a certified sleep center is typically the best first step in diagnosing sleep apnea. The sleep study requires you to spend a night at the facilities where doctors monitor different readings that can indicate OSA. For instance:
- Eye movement (REM sleep is indicative of restful sleep)
- Muscle activity
- Oxygen saturation in the blood
- Efficiency of airflow
- Sleep state
- Respiratory effort
Depending on the results of the study, the doctors may recommend that you visit a sleep apnea clinic. Resolving dental problems could help you get relief.
Getting Treatment at Our Clinic for Sleep Apnea
If you need treatment, it is best that you consult an expert dentist trained in treating OSA. Here are a couple of solutions that can help:
Using Mandibular Advancement Devices
Mandibular advancement devices (MAD) are similar to the ones used by athletes playing contact sports. The guard fits over the upper and lower jaw arches and has a metal hinge. Wearing this device at night gently nudges the lower jaw forward. In case you need more advanced care, the dentist might prescribe the Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP). This device allows controlling the degree of advancement. If you opt for the MAD or TAP, you might have to revisit the clinic for sleep apnea treatment in Calgary. That’s because the dentist will need to make adjustments and check to make sure the device is working properly.
Wearing Tongue Retainers
A tongue retainer is like a splint that holds the tongue in its proper position and prevents it from sliding back into the throat.
Using Teeth Grinding Guards
The dentist at the clinic for sleep apnea can design customized mouth guards for you. The patient inserts them into the oral cavity just before going to bed. The appliance works to maintain the teeth and tongue in their proper positions so that the patient can breathe normally. Teeth grinding guards are effective for preventing various dental issues like sleep apnea, bruxism, and teeth damage.
Using the CPAP Machine for Better Breathing While You Sleep
Your dentist at the clinic for sleep apnea may suggest that you invest in a CPAP machine. Acronym for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, the CPAP machine forces pressurized air into your lungs through the nose and airways. The device includes a mask that you’ll wear over the nose and mouth. The forced air prevents the tissues from sagging and obstructing breathing. An additional positive is that you’ll lower the accumulation of mucus in the sinus passages. If the CPAP machine is not effective, choose a device that adjusts air pressure automatically. Yet another alternative is the bilevel positive airway pressure (BPAP) device.
Getting Maxillomandibular Advancement (MMA) Surgery at Our Sleep Apnea Clinic
Non-invasive methods to fix sleep apnea are often effective. In rare cases, patients may need invasive solutions like maxillomandibular advancement (MMA) surgery. This procedure is necessary in the case of a severe overbite. The oral surgeon moves the lower jaw forward or repairs any misalignment of the dental structure. The dentist at the clinic for sleep apnea treatment in Calgary will help you with all the detailed information you need about this option for sleep apnea.
While the dentist can help you with options for OSA, on your part, you can make some lifestyle changes. Here are some of them:
- Get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise four to five times a week. Even if you go for a brisk walk regularly, you’ll get relief from the condition.
- Cut back on your intake of alcohol and avoid it completely if you can.
- Tranquilizers and sleeping pills result in the muscles at the back of your throat relaxing. As a result, you’ll aggravate the problem. Avoid these medications.
- Smoking increases the swelling in the upper airway and makes it hard to breathe. Look for nicotine replacement solutions that help you kick the habit.
- Lose weight so that the fat around your neck decreases and lessens some of the constriction. While weight loss can help with OSA, regaining the weight will likely cause a relapse.
- Like the doctors at our sleep apnea clinic will advise, make it a point to sleep on your side. Avoid sleeping on your back and obstructing the air passages.
Adopting these solutions takes some time to get used to. But, once patients get habituated, they might find that the snoring is easing off and quality of sleep is much improved.
Getting a Good Night’s Rest is Now Possible!
If you’ve been going through the typical problems associated with insomnia and lack of sufficient sleep, sleep apnea could be the cause. Thankfully, help is at hand at the clinic for sleep apnea treatment in Calgary. Discuss the problem with Dr. Jennifer Silver and she will provide you with the best solutions. When you’re ready to schedule an appointment, check out the Contact Us page. Add your details and we’ll get back to you with responses to your queries. If you would prefer to talk to a team member, call us at this number: (403) 253-1248.
- Is sleep apnea keeping you awake?
- Sleep Apnea and Sleep
- 7 Ways Sleep Apnea Can Hurt Your Health
- What Happens During OSA
- Sleep laboratory test referrals in Canada: Sleep Apnea Rapid Response Survey
Dr. Jennifer Silver is one of the top dental surgeons practicing in Calgary, Alberta using an innovative multi-disciplinary approach to helping her patients. She believes in offering expert advice and make recommendations to patients just as she would to a family member. Dr. Silver collaborates with a large network of specialists and taps into their expertise to provide holistic care.
Dr. Jennifer Silver has earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her academic qualifications include deans honours list, an oral surgery award and best research project. Before attaining this degree, she graduated with honors from Dalhousie University’s Dental Hygiene Program and worked in the sphere of dentistry for 10 years. Dr. Silver is currently helping patients with dental issues such as TMJ pain and sleep apnea in addition to dentistry. She is keenly interested in constantly upgrading her skills and hopes to gain additional training in oral surgery in the future.