Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder accompanied by the stoppage of breathing at different intervals throughout the night. A person with this condition wakes up exhausted as their brain involuntarily wakes them up at night when there is a cessation of breathing. Other than the sufferer waking up exhausted, this sleeping disorder has other detrimental effects on the patient’s health. Therefore, visiting the dentist treating sleep apnea in Burlington, ON, is essential. This piece will help you understand the role of a dentist in sleep apnea treatment and how they diagnose this sleeping disorder.
Before we can explain the role of a dentist in sleep apnea treatment, it is best to know the signs of this sleeping disorder. Here are some of the common symptoms of this disorder:
After noticing some of the symptoms we’ve mentioned above, it would be best to visit the sleep apnea dentist as soon as possible. The dentist may recommend some home sleep tests to diagnose the sleeping disorder.
One of the diagnoses for sleep apnea is nocturnal polysomnography. During the test, your vitals are connected to a machine that shows your arm and leg movements and monitors your heartbeat and blood oxygen levels while asleep.
There are also home sleep tests that the dentist can recommend. These are simple tests that measure your blood oxygen level, breathing patterns, airflow, and heart rate. Most of the time, the dentist in Burlington will recommend polysomnography in a sleeping testing facility if the dental professional suspects central sleep apnea.
Dentists can practice dental sleep medicine, which entails using oral devices to treat obstructive sleep apnea, which is a form of sleep apnea and snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles at the back of your throat relax, leading to the surrounding tissues blocking your breathing airways.
So, the dentist in Burlington can recommend an oral appliance to treat the sleeping disorder. Most oral appliances are worn like a mouthguard at night. There are various types of oral appliances that the dentist can recommend for obstructive sleep apnea treatment.
A mandibular repositioning device is an excellent example of an oral appliance that the dentist can recommend. This device works by repositioning your lower jaw forward and slightly downward to ensure that your breathing airways are open while sleeping. The mandibular repositioning device is one of the most common for obstructive sleep apnea treatment.
Tongue retaining devices- these are devices that hold your tongue in place to prevent it from blocking the breathing airways.
People with excess weight are more susceptible to sleep apnea. This is because they have extra fat and tissues around the breathing airways blocking the air passage. Therefore, if you have this sleeping condition, exercising to keep your weight in check would be best.
These machines are suitable for patients who have obstructive sleep apnea. The machine works by pushing a steady stream of air through a mask you wear when sleeping. CPAP machines are the most common and reliable method for treating obstructive sleep apnea.
Bi-level positive airway pressure, known as BPAP, is a machine like the CPAP which provides air to keep your airways open through a mask you’re wearing. This machine is different from CPAP because it gives less air when breathing out, unlike CPAP, which provides constant pressure. Some patients have a hard time using the CPAP when breathing out due to the steady pressure.
If other treatment options do not work, the last resort is surgery. The most common surgery performed is uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. The surgery involves the removal of the soft tissues from the back of your palate and the removal of the uvula and the tonsils. This surgery might be effective in controlling snoring but is less effective than CPAP in treating obstructive sleep apnea.
Now that you know the role of a dentist in treating sleep apnea don’t let this disorder affect your health. Instead, visit Harbour View Dental, and our dental professional will recommend the most suitable treatment depending on the type of sleep apnea you have.