What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common and serious sleep disorder in which a person’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. With Sleep Apnea, the person keeps waking up and losing sleep because they stop breathing or cannot catch their breath. They wake up multiple times during the night without realizing it because it is for short periods of time. Their sleep pattern is completely interrupted and they wake up feeling tired, because they have not properly rested.
This disruptive sleep can cause sufferers to have difficulty sleeping and can lead to a host of serious health problems. Patients are unaware of this constant interruption of sleep, and often do not know why they keep waking up tired. Because the person experiencing Sleep Apnea is unaware that they are constantly waking up all night long, it can usually be spotted by their sleep partner. Most of the time, they would make a grunting noise when they wake up during those multiple times, because their airway is becoming restricted. If not treated, severe cases of sleep apnea can even lead to death because the person does not get enough oxygen, and may not wake up at all.
How is Sleep Apnea Treated?
Traditionally, the only solution to treating Sleep Apnea had been using a C-PAP machine or surgery for severe cases. This is a big gangly machine that plugs in and helps the patient breathe all night long. It is a big apparatus, and not the most comfortable tool.
However, there is now an easier way to treat Sleep Apnea and it does not involve machinery. We can create a dental appliance that positions the jaw so the patient’s airway stays open while they sleep. When Sleep Apnea occurs, the tongue usually falls back and constricts the airway. The dental appliance positions the jaw in a way that prevents this and keeps the airway clear. With these simple appliances, they are able to breathe freely throughout the night and get the right amount of oxygen, without being interrupted while they sleep.
Dental Appliances for Sleep Apnea
Dental appliances are becoming more popular for treating Sleep Apnea because they are not bulky and are comfortable to wear. These appliances work well in mild to moderate Sleep Apnea, but may not be the best solution for severe cases. Vast majority of Sleep Apnea patients, however, can be treated with dental appliances.
These dental appliances are custom-made for each patient and fitted to the individual’s mouth. Once the appliance is placed, the patient will be able to sleep peacefully, without the disruption of Sleep Apnea. The appliance keeps the airway open and prevents snoring and other disruptions to the sleep cycle.
Hitek Family Dental Care
Our dental office in Orange NSW provides stellar oral health services for the whole family including preventative pediatric dentistry, emergency dental care, restorative dentistry, and sleep dentistry such as treatments for sleep apnea. We tailor our treatments to fit your dental needs and lifestyle. For a consultation, please book an appointment with our team.