Sleep apnea is a potentially deadly condition that affects millions of Canadians. It contributes to your risk of heart disease, dementia, depression, and cancer, as well as increasing your risk of accidents at the workplace, at home, or on the roads. Despite the danger, as much as 80% of people with the condition are undiagnosed. And even when people are diagnosed, more than half of them can’t tolerate the main treatment. People with this condition need access to a comfortable, convenient sleep apnea treatment that they will actually use.
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea or suspect you might have the condition, please call 613.271.7091 today for an appointment with sleep dentist Dr. Andrea Stevens at Andrea Stevens Dentistry in Kanata.
Symptoms and Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea goes undiagnosed because the symptoms are often hard to pin down. You might notice some symptoms like:
- Sleepiness during the day
- Waking up unrested, no matter how long you were in bed
- Dozing off at work or while driving
- Difficulty remembering
- Weight gain
- Waking up to urinate often at night
- Morning headaches
Obviously, with diverse symptoms like these, not everyone experiences all of them. But if you have more than a couple, you should suspect sleep apnea. You should also be aware if your partner notices:
- Loud snoring
- Gasping, choking, or stopping breathing
- Restless sleep
In addition, some medical conditions are so commonly linked or misdiagnosed in cases of sleep apnea, they should be seen as warning signs. This includes:
- High blood pressure
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Sexual dysfunction
- Depression and other mood disorders
Your doctor might not consider sleep apnea because they don’t know your sleep habits. It’s often up to you to seek testing and diagnosis of the condition.
A More Comfortable Sleep Apnea Treatment
The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. In this type, your breathing stops because your airway pinches closed at night. This occurs for many reasons including:
- Muscles relax when you sleep
- Poor airway development
- Rearward jaw position
- Carrying weight on the throat
- Irritation and swelling in the airway
To stop sleep apnea, we have to keep your airway open at night. The leading sleep apnea treatment is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). This treatment works by forcing air down your throat through your nose or mask to keep your airway open.
While CPAP is 100% effective when used regularly, most people find they can’t use the device because the pump, hose, and mask are just too uncomfortable and inconvenient. Fortunately, there is an alternative.
Oral appliance therapy works by repositioning your jaw. Since your jaw is the main bony support for your airway, this opens your airway so that you can breathe normally while you sleep. Oral appliances are so comfortable and convenient that compliance is almost 100% when measured using the same standard as CPAP, and over 80% of people use it all night every night, which means more nights of better sleep.
Oral appliance therapy is a frontline treatment for mild or moderate sleep apnea, and it’s recommended for people with severe sleep apnea who can’t tolerate CPAP.
More Comfortable than CPAP
Are you unhappy with your CPAP machine, or does just the thought of CPAP seem horrible? There’s a better option for sleep apnea treatment: a custom oral appliance designed by a sleep dentist.