In this post, our dentist in North Vancouver discusses how dentists can help you get a sleep apnea diagnosis and resolve your concerns.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder characterized by shallow breaths and pauses in breathing while sleeping. These breathing pauses can last a few seconds to a few minutes and can happen up to 30 times (or more) per night. After each pause, normal breathing resumes, usually with a choking sound or a loud snort.
Breathing problems, as you might expect, can disrupt your sleep and lead to a variety of complications that can harm your overall health, such as an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and heart attack. It increases the likelihood of developing an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and becoming involved in a car or workplace accident.
Why does sleep apnea often go undiagnosed?
Sleep apnea is frequently misdiagnosed because it cannot be detected by a blood test or during a routine checkup.
Mild Sleep Apnea
Simple, non-invasive treatments for moderate to mild sleep apnea, such as oral appliances or weight management, are commonly used (since being overweight is sometimes a primary cause of sleep apnea).
Our dental team can help you lose weight, which can be used in conjunction with other treatment options to help you get rid of your sleep apnea symptoms.
Severe sleep Apnea
Dentists typically advise patients with severe sleep apnea to use CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). Continuous positive airway pressure, which uses air pressure to keep the airway open while you sleep, is the most common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Inspire therapy is a treatment option for patients who are unable or unwilling to benefit from CPAP consistently.
Inspire monitors your breathing while you sleep and sends mild stimulation to the nerve that controls the movement of your tongue and other muscles in your airway to keep it open.