Sleep Apnea and Orthodontics
Sleep is recognized as one of the most important pillars of health, but many patients may not be getting the restorative sleep that they need every night due to sleep apnea. This common sleep disorder can be the result of any number of medical issues, some of which can be treated right here at MB Orthodontics. If you or a loved one has been struggling to get enough revitalizing sleep, then take a look at some of these common signs of sleep apnea, why this condition develops, and what orthodontic treatments may be available to you.
Signs, Symptoms, and Causes of Sleep Apnea
Patients that have sleep apnea will generally experience a number of common symptoms such as loud snoring, insomnia, chronic fatigue during the day, headaches, and waking up with shortness of breath. When sleep apnea takes place, the body cannot enter into the REM portion of the sleep cycle, and this will have a negative impact on almost every facet of your health. The three most common forms of sleep apnea include obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea (CSA), and complex sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea takes place when there is a physical obstruction such as extra soft tissue that is affecting a patient’s breathing. Central sleep apnea is a condition in which the brain does not send the proper signals to the body to breath while sleeping. Complex sleep apnea is a catch-all term that is given to any sleep apnea that is a mixture of these two conditions. Sleep apnea is relatively rare in children, occurring in 1-4%, typically due to large tonsils or adenoids. Sleep apnea is most often diagnosed in patients over 40. Other risk factors include high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, the use of sedatives, drinking, and genetics.
Effectively Treating Sleep Apnea
Your treatment for this condition will be based on the type of sleep apnea that you are diagnosed with, the severity of your condition, and any other co-existing sleep disorders that you may have. Before undergoing serious treatment, it is suggested that most patients carry out a few lifestyle change such as maintaining a healthy weight and limiting their consumption of sedatives, alcohol, and cigarettes. If this does not reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea, then we have a number of other treatments that you may benefit from.
Currently, the most common treatment for sleep apnea is the use of a continuous positive airway pressure machine, or a CPAP machine. These devices can be effective in reducing the symptoms of sleep apnea, but they do come with some disadvantages. The patient may find them to be uncomfortable while their partners often feel they are too noisy to sleep around.
Another option is to utilize dental appliances such as custom mouthguards or braces to straighten one’s jaw and tooth alignment. We have had excellent success with these types of treatments, and patients (and their spouses) are excited with the results.
The first step is to schedule a consultation with MB Orthodontics so that we can get a better understanding about your sleep apnea. If you would like to explore your treatment options for sleep apnea, please contact MB Orthodontics today to setup your own consultation.