Sleep apnea is a very common sleep disorder. Sleep apnea can affect you by blocking your airflow as in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If you stop breathing entirely this form of sleep apnea is called central sleep apnea or CSA and is a dysfunction of your nervous system that regulates breathing. If you experience a mixture of both, you have a form of sleep apnea called mixed sleep apnea. In either case, you may not be aware that you even have this condition and most times it is discovered by a family member and is a chronic condition.
OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea. While you’re sleeping your muscles relax allowing the soft tissue in your mouth to collapse and block your airway, causing intermittent breathing or periods when breathing becomes shallow. These events vary in length and occurrence. In many instances after an individual has experienced a breathing episode it will be followed by loud snoring, gasping, or choking sounds. This can distract from normal sleep and the effects of this may be experienced the following day with sleepiness or a feeling of tiredness.
Sleep apnea is more common in men than women and it can affect everybody including children. Children that experience sleep apnea also exhibits hyperactivity or can be difficult to deal with. Treating sleep apnea is very important to your health and well being and if it goes untreated it can cause excessive fatigue, daytime sleepiness as well as morning headaches and memory loss. This can also be a threat to your health and safety in the workplace. Sleep apnea also raises your risk for high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and erectile dysfunction. Severe cases of sleep apnea that go untreated can even run the risk of death.
You can get diagnosed with sleep apnea by going to a sleep specialist. Once it has been determined that you have sleep apnea you can begin the treatment process. Surprisingly, your dentist can assist you with your sleep apnea.
We can provide you with oral appliance therapy which is effective in treating not only sleep apnea but snoring as well. We will custom fit an oral sleep appliance that will help you regain the sleep that you have been missing. Oral appliance therapy is a noninvasive way to improve your sleep. And oral appliance is preferred by many patients because it is often comfortable, quiet, and convenient.
Oral appliances are typically custom fitted or custom-made digitally or by using dental impressions. These, in turn, are sent to a dental lab where your appliance is made. Once the oral appliances completed our dentists will do a fitting for you. You also get a consultation on how to use the appliance including cleaning and maintenance.
We can also assist you with sleep grinding. We can custom fit a mouth guard or bite splint to prevent you from grinding your teeth in your sleep. This should help relieve the pain and injury to your teeth associated with sleep grinding.
If you would like more information or believe you have sleep apnea, contact our friendly team at Sapphire Dentistry on 03 9842 2677 or book online and we can consult, plan and treat you accordingly.