Sleep apnea is a condition that can become severely obstructive. If it becomes obstructive, it can damage your oral health and general health. Sleep apnea is when you suffer from irregular breathing patterns during sleep. This means your breathing starts and stops, and you’re likely to be gasping for air, disrupting your sleep.
Sleep apnea can cause a condition known as dry mouth. Dry mouth means that there is low saliva production, and saliva is required for food digestion. When you eat, if the food remains in the mouth, this can cause dental plaque build-up, a pale substance that’s full of bacteria that coats your teeth.
If you’re suffering from sleep apnea, it is important that you get it treated to avoid damage to your teeth, and it is possible to get it treated by your local dentist.
So, what are the ways in which sleep apnea can get treated?
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) – CPAP delivers positive airway pressure, which means it seeks to reduce the number of interruptions in your breathing when you sleep. CPAP requires you to take home a machine that connects to a mask. The mask needs to be worn over the nose and mouth during sleep in order to deliver airway pressure so that you breathe smoothly. The airways remain open during your sleep. There is a pressure tolerance level applied to the machine for you to adjust for your comfort of inbound airway pressure.
Dental Mouthguard – If your airway continues to remain blocked, wearing a dental mouthguard can help to ease the pressure on your breathing by keeping the airways open. A dental mouthguard moves the lower jaw slightly to relieve any snoring. This increases the space in the upper jaw so you can breathe easily. Consult your local dentist on developing a custom-fit mouthguard to fit your upper and lower teeth.
Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS) – If CPAP therapy and other oral appliances are uncomfortable, UAS can be used. UAS comprises a small impulse generator, sensor and stimulation lead controlled with a remote. The system helps to monitor breathing patterns and keeps your airways open for a good nights sleep.
These are some of the treatments that can help you treat sleep apnea. What is equally important is managing your weight to help reduce how much you suffer from sleep apnea. Adjust your diet and lifestyle to help you get a better nights sleep.
If you’re seeking support with sleep apnea from your local dentist, contact us here and we’d be happy to help.