Sleep Apnea – The Not So Silent Killer

woman afraid of sleep apnea

One of the great things about being a dentist is getting to examine patients at my Scottsdale, AZ office. A thorough dental examination and questioning can really shed a light on lots of different issues that can be going on with a patient. Some medical problems, however, can have apparent dental manifestations. 


Why is Snoring and Sleep Apnea so bad? 

We all know what snoring is or have had a bed partner that snores. Different people’s snoring patterns can range from a light drone to a freight train. Snoring can also negatively affect your bed partner’s sleep and keep them up awake at night. Snoring could be affecting your health, and also the lives of the people around you. Having interrupted sleep can often lead to moods, increased irritation, anger, and general tiredness during the day. More often than not, a person who snores, as well as anyone else who’s sleep they’ve interrupted, can end up feeling unproductive and just themselves.

Why is being screened for Sleep Apnea so important?

The same is true for sufferers of sleep apnea, although the consequences are much more severe. Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes a person to stop breathing for intermittent durations of time while asleep. Imagine holding your breath on and off for long periods of time over the course of the night. This negative quality of sleep deprives your brain of oxygen over the course of years and even decades. 

Types of Sleep Apnea

There are two types of sleep apnea: Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea. 

  1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is when the airway becomes obstructed by the soft-tissue, so your breath cannot pass freely.
  2. Central Sleep Apnea is when the brain fails to send the signal reminding you to breathe.

People at any age can be at risk for Sleep Apnea, even children. This is why an accurate diagnosis is crucial

Effects of Sleep Apnea

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart Failure, Heart Attacks
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • Headaches
  • Dementia

Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

  1. Being overweight
  2. Large Neck Size
  3. Large Tonsils
  4. Crowded Jaw
  5. Large Tongue
  6. Family History of Sleep Apnea
  7. Anatomical obstruction such as sinus problems, allergies, deviated septum
  8. Being over the age of 40

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea 

  1. Loud Snoring
  2. Waking up in the middle of the night, choking or gasping for air
  3. Sleepiness while driving
  4. Restless sleep
  5. Incontinence
  6. Lack of energy
  7. Waking up with sore throat or dry mouth

Dental problems with sleep apnea

  1. Tooth Grinding/Chipping
  2. Notching of the Jaw Bones from Grinding
  3. Sore Facial Muscles
  4. Extra Bone formation (Exostosis)
  5. Dry Mouth/Sore Throat

Getting an accurate diagnosis for sleep apnea is important as the treatment can vary based on the severity.

Treatment for sleep apnea can include lifestyle modification, from losing weight to wearing a bi-pap or CPAP with a doctor’s recommendation.

There are some patients that can’t tolerate wearing a CPAP or bi-pap over their face or nose while they sleep. Some patients feel restricted wearing a device and that leads to even more restless sleep.  If you can’t stand the idea of sleeping, traveling, or up keeping a CPAP machine, Scottsdale Dental Solutions in 85254 has an answer for you.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in 85254

Here are Scottsdale Dental Solutions, we offer medical sleep appliances that are custom fit for a patient with sleep apnea. These appliances are comfortable enough to be worn at night and work by helping to move the jaw in a forward direction to open the airway and let oxygen pass freely. It’s a simple solution but one that works. The difference between the custom-fit devices and one that you might be able to buy over the counter is that our devices can be adjusted to allow for varying degrees of advancement and comfort. It’s recommended that any sleep device be custom fit and followed up on by a prescribing doctor.

If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea and don’t wear your CPAP, call Scottsdale Dental Solutions and schedule your complimentary consultation to see how we can help! Call 480-536-9050 to schedule today!

With Love and Gratitude,

Dr. Rajan Sheth

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