Sleep Apnea Treatment

tired man

Sleep Apnea Treatment
at Vita Dental Wellness

In a survey conducted among 874 participants in two Canadian communities, snoring occurred in 46.2% of men and 47.0% of women.

Snoring is very common. It's often the subject of jokes, but it could be more than a nuisance. If a loved one says your snoring is concerning, don't ignore it. Occasional snoring may not mean anything serious. However, persistent snoring could indicate sleep apnea.

At Vita Dental Wellness in Chilliwack, BC, we customize oral appliances to manage sleep apnea symptoms.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Did you know that an estimated 5.4 million Canadian adults have been diagnosed with sleep apnea or are at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where your breathing stops and restarts during sleep. One of its symptoms is snoring.

People with sleep apnea can experience interrupted breathing hundreds of times during sleep. Leaving the condition untreated can result in various medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Sleep apnea may also cause an increased risk of motor vehicle and work-related accidents.

Types of Sleep Apnea

If you still feel tired even after a long sleep, sleep apnea is one factor you should look into. These are the types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is due to physical reasons, such as the throat over-relaxing and the soft tissue collapsing, making it hard for the air to flow freely.
  • Central sleep apnea (CSA). This occurs when the brain fails to communicate with the muscles responsible for controlling breathing.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can occur in anyone, including children. Though, it's more common among those 50 years of age and older and those overweight. Here are some symptoms to check:

  • Loud snoring
  • Breathing pauses
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth upon waking
  • Gasping for breath during sleep
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Sleepiness

Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, and not all people with sleep apnea snore.

If you notice several of the symptoms listed above, check in with your dentist or primary care provider. This is to rule out potential causes and determine the root problem.

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

To diagnose sleep apnea, your doctors look at your lifestyle, health history, and oral health condition. They also perform a physical evaluation to check irregularities in growth or appearance.

You may be referred to a sleep specialist or a sleep center, but there are also exams you can do at home. If you have sleep apnea, your dentist may offer custom treatment options.

The gold standard for treating sleep apnea is a machine or a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. Depending on your case, however, you can also use a custom oral appliance to keep your airways open during sleep and prevent sleep apnea.

How Your Dentist Can Help

Some people find a CPAP machine challenging to use. For cases like this and those with mild to moderate sleep apnea, an oral device may be an ideal alternative. Your dentist evaluates your mouth and jaw joints to see if you're a good candidate.

A dental sleep device or mandibular advancement device looks like a mouthguard. It works by positioning the lower jaw forward to keep muscles from collapsing and obstructing airways.

A model of your mouth is taken to ensure the fabricated device fits right. This is crucial because a poorly fitting device can damage the jaw. Your dentist then tracks your case to ensure your appliance is helping manage your sleep apnea symptoms.

Finding the appliance uncomfortable at first is natural, but you should become accustomed to it after a few days of use.

Learn More About Custom Oral Appliances
for Treating Sleep Apnea

If you're diagnosed with sleep apnea and looking for alternative treatment options in Chilliwack, British Columbia, contact our dental office at (604) 858-5152 or leave us a message at [email protected].

We can schedule an appointment with our dentist for your initial consultation. Let's find out if a custom oral appliance for sleep apnea treatment is suitable for your situation.