A Guide to Sleep Apnea Treatment

A Guide to Sleep Apnea Treatment

Oct 13, 2021

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder in which breathing suddenly stops and continues repeatedly. While sleep apnea isn’t life-threatening, the symptoms can interfere with your life routine. Sleep apnea is categorized into three major types, namely:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea – It’s the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when the throat muscles relax due to poor muscle tone.
  • Central Sleep Apnea – This apnea isn’t caused by blockage of the airway. On the contrary, it happens when the brain temporarily stops or doesn’t send proper signals to the respiratory muscles that control breathing. In most cases, it happens to individuals with underlying medical conditions or in cases of drug overdoses.
  • Mixed or Complex Sleep Apnea – It’s a combination of central and obstructive sleep apnea. This condition is also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea.

Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

  • Loud snoring
  • Morning headache
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Awakening with a dry mouth
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Insomnia

It’s worth noting that the symptoms of all three types of sleep apnea may overlap. It’s therefore difficult to determine which type of apnea you have based on the symptoms. If you are still unsure whether you have sleep apnea, see a doctor immediately.

Sleep apnea and other sleep-related breathing disorders are primarily diagnosed and managed by physicians and sleep specialists. For a prosthodontist near you, contact Northwest Prosthodontics.

Risk Factors

While sleep apnea can affect anyone, some factors may increase your risk. These include:

  • Excess weight
  • A narrowed airway
  • Old age
  • Smoking
  • Being male
  • Family history
  • Use of alcohol, tranquilizers, or sedatives
  • Nasal congestion
  • Certain medical conditions

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Managing and treating sleep apnea is easy and straightforward. Treatment can address the underlying problem, ease your symptoms, and prevent further complications such as heart problems. Are you looking for sleep apnea treatment near you in Calgary? Contact Northwest Prosthodontics.

Below are some of the most common sleep apnea treatment options:

  1. Lifestyle Changes

For mild and moderate sleep apnea, your health care providers can suggest lifestyle and behavioral interventions. These can include:

  • Reducing alcohol consumption
  • Losing weight
  • Eating healthier
  • Hydrating well
  • Avoiding smoking and tobacco
  1. Change Sleep Position

How you rest your head when sleeping can interfere with proper breathing at night. Elevating your head with a pillow when sleeping can provide a therapeutic benefit and improve breathing.

  1. PAP Therapy

For moderate to serious sleep apnea, positive airway pressure is a great way to manage your condition. The therapy involves the use of a mechanical device to deliver compressed air to your oropharynx. Usually, the air pressure is delivered through an air-tight device such as a mask.
The device splints the airway with increased air pressure, maintaining patency during sleep. Fortunately, PAP devices are available in various sizes and types. If used correctly, the right PAP device can significantly improve a patient’s sleep quality and patterns.

  1. Oral/ Dental Appliances

Patients with sleep apnea can also benefit from oral appliances. For you are considered dental appliances for sleep apnea, you can consult with your dentist to determine which appliances would serve you the best. To ensure a perfect fit, oral appliances can be customized for your specific dental structure.

Common Dental Appliances

  1. Mandibular Advancement Devices

Most MADs look like sports guards or orthodontic retainers. They are fitted into the mouth by snapping over the lower and power dental arches. The two pieces, one fitted over the upper teeth and the other fitted over the lower teeth, are connected by metal hinges.

These devices work by pushing the tongue and the lower jaw slightly forward, preventing the throat muscles and other parts such as the pharynx from collapsing back into the airways. This allows normal breathing during sleep. Fortunately, most MADs are adjustable, increasing their effectiveness and your comfort.

  1. Tongue Retaining Mouthpieces

These devices are similar to MADs in terms of construction. The only difference is that they have a small compartment that fits around the tongue, keeping it forward and preventing it from collapsing back into the airway.

Obtaining Dental Devices

While oral devices can be obtained from the counter, I’d suggest having your dentist create a custom-fitted oral device. A customized device is made with your particular needs in mind, making it comfortable and efficient.

Over-the-counter devices may serve the purpose, but it isn’t easy to find a perfect fit. Using an unfit device can affect your breathing, complicating your condition.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Are you looking for sleep apnea treatment in Calgary, or would you like to learn more about sleep apnea? Contact Northwest Prosthodontics today to speak with a prosthodontist in Calgary.

Call-Now Book Now
Font Resize
Click to listen highlighted text!