Your Dentist Can Help You With Your Sleep Apnea

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Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that is characterized by pauses in the breathing pattern, or instances of abnormally reduced breathing during sleep.  Each pause between successive breaths is known as an “apnea” – a word derived from the Greek phrase “apnoia” which means “without breath”.  In the case of regular breathing, the frequency of pauses is routine and constant.  When the breathing pattern changes due to various reasons, and the periods between successive pauses start becoming irregular, it contributes to sleep apnea disease.  Each irregular pause of breath is called “hypopnea.”  Therefore, in the event of regular breathing, every period or pause is termed as an “apnea”, while in the event of abnormal breathing it’s termed as “hypopnea.”

Symptoms of sleep apnea

People suffering from the disorder frequently don’t know they have it.  Certain symptoms can determine whether the person is suffering from the disease.  The symptoms include:


Restless sleeping patterns

Choking or gasping during sleep

Night sweats

Feeling too sleepy during the day

Snoring frequently and loudly

Trouble in breathing during sleep

Other symptoms indicating a possible disease are:


Morning headaches

Reduction of memory

Issue in learning new things


Inability to focus for extended 


Mood swings and/or personality changes

Dry throat when stirring 

Frequent urination during the night

Causes of sleep apnea

The disease generally occurs because of a fat buildup, or even a reduction of muscular tone, especially during old age.  In this particular disorder, the tracheal muscles (trachea is that the windpipe), the soft palate muscles at the bottom of the tongue, along with the uvula is that the triangular-shaped small fleshy tissue hanging from the middle in the back of the throat) relax to a substantial extent and collapse throughout the breathing activity.  Basically, the windpipe becomes taut, or the windpipe’s layers stick that restricts the flow of air to the lungs.  The disease can also occur due to a malfunction of neurons controlling the breathing procedure during sleep.  This sleep disorder can be diagnosed through an overnight polysomnogram test – a sleep test that is extensively used to detect sleep disorders and associated issues.

Effects of sleep apnea

Even though sleep disorder might appear to be common and not-so-serious, it can result in some serious health issues.  If left untreated, the disease can result in:


Sexual dysfunction


High blood pressure

Irregular heartbeats

Coronary Heart Disease

Chronic Heart Failure

Worsening of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Kinds of sleep apnea

There are 3 types of sleep apnea:

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

Central sleep apnea (CSA)

Mixed sleep apnea (MSA)

Although all 3 types of sleep disorders differ up to their causes and therapy are concerned, 1 aspect remains common – a few pieces of the lymph system narrow down and impair the percentage of oxygen reaching the subject’s lungs.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea And How Your Dentist Can Help

Sleep Apnea is a condition caused by a lack of air passing through to the lungs during sleep; it is an incident that lasts for over 10 seconds.  This deficiency of atmosphere leads to a saturation of oxygen levels in blood flow, which causes oxygen deprivation of the brain and other bodily cells, known as Hypoxia.  In order to increase blood sugar levels, a stirring is instructed by the mind and controls the body.  The individual wakes up for a time that is short and commences breathing, often at first, and then falls back to sleep.  Quite often, the person doesn’t have any memory of these micro-awakenings in the morning.

During sleep, the muscles of the pharynx (a part of the throat which sits behind the mouth and nasal cavity) to unwind and block the airway, which is exactly what causes the Sleep Apnea episodes.  Episodes can happen several times and any over 10-15 episodes of Sleep Apnea in an hour can be Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome.  The sleep of the night divides into hundreds of small fragmented miniature periods of sleep, resulting in the individual feeling since the human body’s systems haven’t had time to rejuvenate overnight tired.  The oxygen deficiency also affects a person’s metabolism, which is exactly why an Obstructive Sleep Apnea sufferer wakes up exhausted, irritable and includes a headache.

According to this American National Sleep Foundation, Obstructive Sleep Apnea syndrome costs the United States over $100 billion yearly.  This is a problem, but it isn’t highly publicized many people do not know of its existence.

In regards to the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the gold standard is CPAP-therapy, which entails wearing a CPAP mask during sleep.  Approximately 50% of patients do not like CPAP-therapy for a long period.  What’s more, CPAP-therapy is not recommended for moderate and mild forms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea syndrome.  Thus, what is the recommended remedy for this?

Sleep Apnea Dentists Can Help Treat Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome

Sleep Apnea Dentists from Dentistry At Market Mall helps treat mild and moderate forms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea syndrome via dental apparatus, which may also be used with CPAP-therapy for more effective outcomes.  The dental devices are simple to use, are compact, very affordable and effective.  The function of these devices would be to keep airways open to prevent the Obstructive Sleep Apnea episodes.  These oral appliances are used in medicine for almost 30 years and have improved in technology over recent years.  The most significant improvements are comfort-focused the look of materials and the device utilized in construction.

There are 3 common Kinds of dental instruments worn at the mouth at nighttime, and fitted by a dentist or orthodontist:

1) Tongue Retaining Devices (TRD)

These devices hold the tongue to ensure the airways have been kept open.

Two ) OPA Devices (Oral Pressure Appliance)

These devices lift the soft palate (the tissue at the rear roof of their mouth) and hold the tongue in a sure spot to keep airways open.

3) The Mandibular Advancement Splines (MAS) or Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD)

These would be the most frequently used oral devices for Obstructive Sleep Apnea syndrome.  Their function is to hold the jaw in a forward position, so allowing airflow to the lungs and preventing displacement of the lower jaw during sleep.  The airflow is totally restored and the Obstructive Sleep Apnea episodes stop.

Modern Mandibular Advancement apparatus are individually made for both upper and lower jaws, and both are adjusted into the jaws prior to bedtime.  When attached to the jaw, this device generates an opening of the airways through the forward position of the jaw and tongue.  The lower part of the device holds the lower jaw in a forward position at about 75 percent of its forward movement.  Following two weeks of sporting this device, the patient undergoes a second re-examination in a sleep evaluation.  If needed, the dentist may control the device by moving the forward millimeters to correct the issue.

The dental apparatus is tailored to each person, as each mouth is unique.  The methods utilized to guarantee the right device is made and fitted comprise: Cephalometry (measurement and analysis of the proportions of their face and head ), computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, video endoscopy and lateral Cephalometry of their patient with and without the device in their mouth.

A dental apparatus is usually recommended in the following scenarios:

1) Mild or moderate forms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (episodes of Apnea less than 20 in an hour);

2) An individual’s unwillingness to use a CPAP-mask or undesirable results from using it;

3) A patient’s unwillingness to perform a surgical treatment or unsuccessful surgical therapy in the past;

4) The individual is in a healthy weight range (BMI- Body Mass Index can be used to quantify this);

5) Patient’s willingness to utilize the dental device every night.

Things to Think about Before Seeing a Sleep Apnea Dentist

Dental devices aren’t recommended in treating patients with Central Sleep Apnea Syndrome, as this type of sleep apnea isn’t associated with the narrowing of the upper respiratory tract, instead, is it closely related to lung and heart issues.

For individuals with acute kinds of Obstructive Sleep Apnea syndrome, the oral device is not enough, and these patients have been treated with CPAP-therapy.

In addition, there are age limitations; oral devices aren’t suited to patients less than 18 years of age.

Diseases of the temporomandibular joint (the sliding joint which links to the jawbone to the skull) are quite common among patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea syndrome.  But today there is no reason to discourage the use of dental instruments.  Studies show that side effects, such as pain in the temporomandibular joint and chewing muscles are rare, usually expressed and occurs in the first phases of using the dental instruments.

Bruxism is a common disease among patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea syndrome.  In such cases, the use of oral devices helps prevent abrasion of teeth and reduces the motor action of the aging muscles during sleep.