Sleep Apnea: Yes, your dentist can help.
Parliament Hill Dental
According to the most recent Canadian Community Health Survey around 858,900 Canadian adults have been given a diagnosis of sleep apnea,. Also, more than one in four Canadian adults might have symptoms and risk factors that could put them at a higher risk of developing the condition in the future. You probably already know that sleep labs and sleep clinics can help you efficiently get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan for your sleep disorders.
But did you know that your Ottawa dentist can also help ease sleep apnea?
Sleep Apnea: Understanding the sleeping disorder
Sleep apnea is a chronic condition where people stop breathing at different times throughout their sleep. There are two main types: obstructive and central.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form and is characterized by interruptions in breathing (apneas) that lead to the airway’s soft tissue to collapse and in turn prevent oxygen from reaching the lungs.
Central sleep apnea is a disorder where the brain stops sending the messages to breathe during sleep. In this case, there is no disruption to the airway even though the body responds as if an interruption did occur.
Both types of sleep apnea are not conducive to good sleep. People that suffer from untreated sleep apnea usually wake up feeling tired or lethargic and can have a significant impact on short and long-term mental and physical health.
The advantages of Mandibular Advancement Devices for Sleep Apnea Treatment
Oral appliances can be a great option for patients suffering from sleep apnea that meet approved criteria. Affordable, (even the adjustable models that are more costly) these devices still represent for certain patients valid options compared to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines. Custom-made, they fit for maximum comfort and effectiveness. Though some patients might find it a little strange at first, this issue is certainly no larger of a problem than with CPAP machines.
Clinical trials have shown MADs can effectively prevent apneas during sleep, especially when patients follow closely dentists recommendations.
If you’ve received a sleep apnea diagnosis and want to discuss your treatment options call Parliament Hill Dental to speak to a member of our team.
How Sleep Apnea Impacts Health
The most recent Canadian Community Health Survey provides interesting statistics about Canadian adults suffering from sleep apnea
- 1.8 times more likely to have high blood pressure
- 2.2 times more likely to suffer from heart disease and mood disorders, including depression, mania, dysthymia, and bipolar disorder.
- 2.5 times higher risk of developing diabetes
- Increased predisposition to suffer from obesity
The chronic fatigue that is expected to come with untreated sleep apnea increases the risk of injuries and accidents at work or behind the wheel that can be significant fatal sometimes even fatal.
What Role Your Dentist Play in Sleep Apnea
Dental specialists can become valuable partners when treating obstructive sleep apnea. Once a patient has received a diagnosis of OSA, making an appointment with a dentist can help learn more about the possible treatment options that are available. When you visit us at Parliament Hill Dental, we may recommend wearing oral appliances as a possible solution, since these devices can ease symptoms in patients of normal weight with mild to moderate sleep apnea.
Mandibular advancement devices (MADs) are the most commonly used oral appliances, with the goal to push the lower jaw forward to prevent the muscles from collapsing during periods of apnea during sleep. These oral devices can help the airways become stronger to reduce or eliminate apneas.
At Parliament Hill Dental, Our dentists will take the time to assess the teeth, mouths, and temporomandibular joints of patients with a diagnosis of sleep apnea to determine if they are potential candidates for a MAD. When a patient is a suitable candidate, our team will then create a model of the patient’s teeth which specialists will use to craft the oral device. A proper fit is important since an ill-fitted device could potentially cause damage to the jaw.
Dentists at Parliament Hill Dental work closely with their patients to make sure their oral devices are working and that symptoms are improving. While the device may feel a little strange at first, patients usually adjust within a few days. It is important to remember that regular monitoring and continued use of the device get patients the best results.
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