In this post, our dentists in North Vancouver discuss how dentists can assist you in receiving a sleep apnea diagnosis and resolving your concerns.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that causes shallow breaths and pauses in breathing while sleeping. These breathing pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes and occur up to 30 times (or more) per night. Normal breathing resumes after each pause, 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, including a higher risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and heart attack. It increases the risk of 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, such as oral appliances or weight loss (since being overweight is sometimes a primary cause of sleep apnea), are commonly used.
Severe sleep Apnea
Dentists typically advise patients with severe sleep apnea to use CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). The most common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which uses air pressure to keep the airway open while you sleep.
Inspire therapy is a treatment option for patients who cannot or will not benefit from CPAP on a consistent basis. 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.