Sleep Apnea Treatment in Edmonton
Sleep apnea is a serious health condition affecting millions. Unfortunately, it frequently goes undiagnosed or untreated.
While continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is usually the first-line treatment for sleep apnea, many struggle with this therapy. An alternate solution that has helped many sleep more soundly is a customized oral appliance like the ones we offer here at Orchards Dental.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
The word “apnea” literally means “without breath.” When a person has sleep apnea, they stop breathing repeatedly throughout the night. Each time they stop breathing, the body has to wake itself enough to resume breathing. Even though these episodes aren’t remembered in the morning, they do result in broken sleep and often in people feeling more tired than normal during the day.
Many factors can contribute to sleep apnea. Among these are genetics, weight, gender, and neck size. Often the person who has sleep apnea isn’t even aware of it; it is the partner who notices the loud snoring and gasping.
The Risks of Sleep Apnea
Undiagnosed sleep apnea can be very dangerous. Sleep apnea is associated with a number of serious health conditions, including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
Additionally, the lack of restful sleep associated with sleep apnea can increase your risk of automotive accidents, problems with job performance, and stress in your relationships.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea must be diagnosed by a medical sleep specialist affiliated with an accredited sleep center. If sleep apnea is suspected, speak with your primary care provider for a referral to a sleep specialist. You may then be scheduled for a sleep study, which will help identify apnea episodes or other sleep-related issues.
For many, the thought of a sleep study conjures up an image of going to a laboratory and sleeping with machines and wires joined to the body. Fortunately, this does not need to be the case nowadays as sleep studies can often now be done in the comfort of one's own home.
CPAP therapy is usually recommended for people with sleep apnea. This therapy involves wearing a mask over the nose that is connected to a machine, which pumps pressurized air into your airway to prevent airway collapse. For those who tolerate CPAP therapy, this treatment is highly effective.
Unfortunately, it is estimated that more than 50% of people who are prescribed CPAP therapy are unable to stay compliant with it. Some common complaints about CPAP include:
- The noise of the machine
- Discomfort associated with the mask
- Inconvenience for those who travel frequently
Many people who use CPAP are not able to tolerate using it all night every night and often go hours without using it. This results in CPAP therapy losing much of its effectiveness.
Oral Appliance Therapy
If you’ve been diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea and struggle with CPAP therapy, call Orchards Dental to schedule a consultation with Dr. Dennis George Anithottam. We can recommend a custom-fit oral appliance to help relieve the symptoms associated with sleep apnea.
Different appliance styles work in different ways, and Dr. Dennis George Anithottam will recommend the style that is most appropriate for your needs. Generally speaking, the appliance changes the position of your jaw, which allows your airway to remain open while you sleep. Most people find oral appliance therapy much more comfortable than CPAP.
You deserve to get a decent night’s sleep – and your health depends on it! Please call our Edmonton dental office with questions about treating sleep apnea with oral appliances.