Sleep apnea is a somewhat common condition where you stop breathing for short periods of time while you’re asleep. This results in depriving your brain of oxygen for these short periods, and therefore ruining a good nights’ rest. This can be caused by an obstruction in the airway, or a failure of the muscles that are used for breathing.
Who’s at Risk for Sleep Apnea?
If you are a man over the age of 40, you are at the most risk for developing sleep apnea. Other people who are at a higher risk are people who are overweight, who have large necks, large tonsils, or large tongues, people who suffer from GERD, or people who have any nasal obstructions.
Consequences of Sleep Apnea
There are many health problems associated with sleep apnea, not the least of which involves not getting quality sleep. You can start developing headaches, high blood pressure, and heart failure. You can also experience strokes, diabetes, and depression. The most concerning thing about sleep apnea is how often it goes undiagnosed and therefore is left untreated. If you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea, make an appointment with Harmony Dental Care in Oshawa, ON to get a consult.
How We Treat Sleep Apnea
Harmony Dental Care might be able to diagnose sleep apnea simply by the symptoms that show up during the day. You should always ask your partner if they’ve noticed if you have unusual breathing patterns when you’re sleeping. You might also be asked to partake in a sleep study that will give a better answer to if you have sleep apnea.
If our dentist near you at Harmony Dental Care believes you have sleep apnea, we will start by creating a dental appliance for you to use when you’re asleep. The most common treatment is a mask that is fit to a CPAP machine. This will keep your airway open while you sleep because the CPAP machine is constantly pushing out a flow of air to keep your airway from collapsing. Other options will include devices that reposition the lower jaw and tongue.
We might also recommend changes to lifestyle that will help with sleep apnea, such as losing weight, cutting down on alcohol, quitting smoking, and even changing the position that you sleep in.