Sleep Apnea

Sleep Like Your Life Depends on It

We all know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep, but if you’re suffering from sleep apnea, that may seem like a pipe dream. Whether you’ve already been diagnosed with sleep apnea, or you’re at your wit's end with chronic snoring and fatigue still seeking a diagnosis, we would love to help you. At Pleasant Valley Dental, we’re happy to offer a simple, non-invasive solution for sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy—no CPAP required!

Do I Have Sleep Apnea

Schedule a consultation today to find out!

What is sleep apnea?

There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. Obstructive sleep apnea can often be treated by your dentist because it is the result of a collapsed airway that physically obstructs breathing. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send the proper signals to the body to tell it to breathe, and mixed sleep apnea is a combination of the two.

Sleep Apnea Infographic

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What causes obstructive sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea develops when the soft tissues in the back of the throat collapse during sleep, preventing proper breathing. There are many factors that can contribute to the disease, including excessive weight around the neck, having a narrow airway or sinus issues and use of alcohol or sedatives. Even eating spicy foods can exacerbate the condition! Sleep apnea sufferers are usually male and your risk increases with age.

Causes & Contributing Factors

  • Male
  • Over age 40
  • Obesity or excessive weight, especially around the neck
  • Narrow airway
  • Alcohol or sedative use
  • Spicy foods
  • Nasal congestion or sinus problems

What are the signs & symptoms?

Sleep apnea can often be hard to diagnose because symptoms are mostly present during sleep. The most common telltale sign of sleep apnea is chronic snoring. That is not to say that all snorers are suffering from sleep apnea, but it would be wise to know for sure if you’re one of them. Sleep apnea can also be accompanied by choking or gasping for air, interrupted sleep, nightmares, insomnia, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, frequent urination during the night, morning dry mouth, headaches, and TMJ dysfunction.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Chronic snoring
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Choking or gasping for air
  • Frequent urination
  • Morning dry mouth
  • Morning headaches or migraines
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Nightmares or insomnia
  • TMJ/TMD or teeth grinding & clenching

What are the consequences?

Sleep apnea may not seem like a big deal if the only symptom is snoring, but the truth is, there are many other mental and physical health problems that can and will develop if sleep apnea is left untreated. Aside from all the signs and symptoms above, sleep apnea can also contribute to the development of serious systemic health problems like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

It makes sense when you think about it, as sleeping and breathing are essential activities for our bodies to function properly. If you’re suffering from sleep apnea, you will develop low blood oxygen levels and the immune system will slowly deteriorate over time. Sleep apnea sufferers are also more likely to be involved in car accidents after falling asleep at the wheel. Thankfully, we have a solution for you!

Health Consequences

  • Low blood oxygen
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Heart attack
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Compromised immune system
  • Weight gain & obesity
  • Mood disorders (depression & anxiety)
  • Auto accidents

How is it treated?

Traditionally, the “gold standard” for sleep apnea treatment is a CPAP machine. However, many folks find CPAPs intolerable because they simply cannot sleep with a mask attached to their face. Can you blame them? That’s why dental professionals have created an alternative solution with oral appliance therapy.

Oral appliance therapy uses a custom-made oral device that’s worn like a mouthguard during sleep. The appliance gently shifts the lower jaw forward, effectively preventing the airway from collapsing and allowing you to sleep and breathe normally throughout the night. Oral appliances are custom-made just for you to fit comfortably in the mouth and suit your individual needs.

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about sleep apnea, we would love to speak with you. Contact your Vernon dentists, Dr. Bicknell, Dr. Denk, or Dr. Parkins at Pleasant Valley Dental today!

Pleasant Valley Dental

2301 32nd Ave., Vernon, BC V1T 2k5

Give us a ring!

(250) 558-4222

OFFICE HOURS

Monday 8:30am-5:00pm
Tuesday 8:30am-5:00pm
Wednesday 8:30am-5:00pm
Thursday 8:30am-8:00pm
Friday 8:30am-5:00pm
Saturday 8:30am-4:00pm
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