Sleep Apnea Is Potentially Dangerous
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts while you are asleep. During each episode, CO2 builds up in the blood, raising blood pressure till you are startled awake and restart proper breathing. You probably have sleep apnea if you snore loudly, make choking sounds or grind your teeth at night, wake up tired, or fall asleep often during the day.
Left untreated, sleep apnea can ravage your health and, in particular, the heart, leading to heart attacks, heart failure, or strokes. Early diagnosis and treatment can reduce this risk substantially.
How Can My Dentist Help?
Sleep apnea is likely if you have enlarged oral soft tissues, such as oversized tonsils or a large tongue; experience nasal blockage due to allergies, sinusitis or deviated septum; or suffer from obesity. To assess treatment options, your dentist will:
Examine and evaluate the oral soft tissues
Assess you for other risk factors
Recommend a sleep study for proper diagnosis
Work with the in-house sleep specialist to create an individual treatment plan
Our sleep specialist may recommend custom-made oral devices to be worn at night to keep your airway open along with lifestyle changes such as losing weight and quitting smoking.
In severe cases, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is to be worn at night, or surgery may be recommended.
Mild to moderate sleep apnea can be treated using a dental appliance to keep your airway open. In severe cases, a CPAP machine is advised. Come meet our sleep specialist to diagnose and treat your sleep apnea.