Sleep Apnea

Sleap Apnea Treatments in Edmonton

Treat Your Sleep Apnea To Improve Your Overall Health!

Defining Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which the patient experiences shallow breathing or pauses in breathing during sleep. These pauses can occur several times during the sleep period.

Because sleep apnea can impact other areas of your life, it’s important to take any symptoms seriously. Often, your doctor will recommend a sleep study to help confirm sleep apnea. Common symptoms of sleep apnea can include:

  • Abnormal sleep patterns
  • Choking during sleep
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Dry mouth or sore throat in the morning
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Falling asleep at inappropriate times
  • Frequent pauses during sleep due to breaks in breathing
  • High blood pressure
  • Irritability
  • Loud snoring
  • Sudden awakenings to restart breathing
  • Waking up in a sweat

Factors that Influence Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is caused by the relaxation of soft tissue in the airway. This can be caused by obesity, as well as structural issues in the skull or face. Nasal congestion and alcohol consumption can also contribute to OSA.

The Four Types Of Sleep Apnea

  • Obstructive sleep apnea - The most common form of this disorder, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when a patient′s throat closes as the individual inhales during sleep and the patient cannot suck air into their lungs. Since muscles relax during sleep, the soft tissue of the pharynx relaxes and expands, obstructing air flow in the upper respiratory tract. This obstruction reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood and forces the patient to wake up and take a deep breath. Men from age 30 to 50 are the main group affected by OSA. Often, people will experience mild OSA at some point in time in their lives; however, chronic or severe OSA requires medical attention.
  • Central sleep apnea - Central sleep apnea, or Cheyne-Stokes respiration, is a relatively rare form of sleep apnea that occurs when the region of the brain responsible for controlling the breathing muscles temporarily fails. Central sleep apnea differs from OSA in that the patient′s pauses in breathing are due to a lack of effort to breathe.
  • Mixed apnea - Mixed apnea is a combination of OSA and central sleep apnea. Chronic OSA can sometimes cause central sleep apnea. Although the exact cause is still unknown, weight-related, cardiovascular, and respiratory conditions can contribute to mixed sleep apnea.
  • Complex sleep apnea - Complex sleep apnea is a form of mixed sleep apnea. With this unusual condition, a patient still experiences sleep apnea even when the physical obstruction to breathing is removed.

The Importance of Treatment

Complications from sleep apnea can include inattentiveness at work, tiredness, risk of accidents, mood swings, high blood pressure and erectile dysfunction. Sleep apnea can also increase the risk of congestive heart failure and stroke. It can lead to difficulty in the treatment processes for conditions such as arterial fibrillation.

Snore Treatment

Snoring is a common condition; however, most people don’t realize that snoring can be an indication of a serious health hazard. Obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that is potentially dangerous and can be life threatening, is often associated with hypertension, headaches, and even strokes. Your general dentist can custom fit you with a dental appliance that will help control the snoring. This small plastic device fits in the mouth and is worn at night to prevent the collapse of throat tissues and eliminate the cause of the snoring.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, is a neuromuscular disorder that can damage and loosen the teeth. The severity of teeth grinding varies with the individual. Children usually outgrow the condition. Stress and abnormally aligned teeth are common causes of teeth grinding and treatment should focus on these factors.

Night guards constructed of high-grade plastic offer and effective means of treating teeth grinding. Worn at night, they serve to prevent the upper teeth from grinding against the lower teeth. Although ready-made night guards are offered for sale at many stores, a custom-fitted night guard prepared by your general dentist will provide a better fit.

Mouth Guard

When you wake up in the morning, do you experience pain in your jaw joint or difficulty opening or closing your mouth? Are your teeth overly sensitive? Do you often experience headaches? These could be clear signs of teeth grinding or bruxing. Without treatment bruxism can cause damage to your jaw joint, your teeth and existing dental work.

Reasons for Grinding

The exact cause of teeth grinding is still unknown, but there are some factors that are associated with this problem, including:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Drug abuse
  • Excess use of Caffeine
  • Smoking
  • Excess use of alcohol
  • Some prescription medicine
  • Mal-Occlusion or miss-bite
  • And finally some disorders such as Parkinson’s disease

There is currently no cure for bruxing, but the damage it causes can be controlled with the use of a night guard, a plastic cover that fits over your teeth to deflect the hard forces of chewing. Use of a night guard will also increase the longevity of your dental work.

Night Guard Treatment

During the first visit your general dentist will take an impression of your teeth. This impression is then sent to a dental laboratory where a custom-fit night guard is created to fit the contours of your mouth.

On your second visit your general dentist will show you how to place the nigh guard into your mouth and will adjust it to your bite. Night guards are available in soft materials as well as harder plastic materials. Your dentist will recommend which material is best suited for your needs.

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