Our dentists in Vancouver discuss how dentists can help you get a sleep apnea diagnosis and resolve your concerns in this post.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that causes shallow breaths and breathing pauses while sleeping. These breathing pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes and can occur up to 30 times (or more) per night. Normal breathing resumes after each pause, usually with a choking sound or a loud snort.
As you might expect, breathing issues 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 raises the chances of developing an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and being 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 are commonly used, such as oral appliances or weight management (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 recommend that patients with severe sleep apnea use CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). The most common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure, which uses air pressure to keep the airway open while you sleep. Inspire therapy is a treatment option for patients who are unable or unwilling to consistently benefit from CPAP.
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.