To make it through your day, you need oxygen. All living things do. That’s a pretty rudimentary statement. If you suffer from sleep apnea, there is a blockage or restriction in your airway. Therefore, if you have sleep apnea, you aren’t getting enough essential oxygen while you sleep. In this page, we will explain why a sleep apnea treatment is essential to your condition.
This lack of oxygen can lead to a number of health problems including increasing your blood pressure which in itself, is a major contributing factor for heart disease and stroke. As well, if you already suffer from an existing heart condition, sleep apnea can worsen your condition.
So, what exactly is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a relatively common disorder that is characterized as pauses in your breathing. It can also be classified as shallow, superficial breaths while you sleep. The pauses in your breathing can last from a couple seconds to a few minutes. As an example, during an hour of sleep, you can stop breathing anywhere from 5 to 30 times! Then when you start up your breathing again, it can start with a loud snort or a choking sound.
Sleep apnea is an ongoing, perpetual condition, that takes a serious toll on the quality of your sleep. When you suffer from sleep apnea, you constantly switch from a deep sleep to a light sleep, resulting in an overall poor rest, leaving you tired and weary during the next morning.
Often times, you don’t even know you have sleep apnea
Sleep apnea generally goes undetected and undiagnosed because a lot of doctors don’t uncover the condition during regular office visits. Most people that suffer from sleep apnea aren’t aware they suffer from it. A lot of times the first ones to become aware of your situation is a family member, spouse or bed partner.
The most common type of sleep apnea is referred to as obstructive sleep apnea. This is when your airway has collapsed or is restricted and this ensuing blockage causes shallow breathing or breathing pauses. When you try to breathe, any air that gets past the blockage causes loud snoring (which is why a bed partner generally detects the problem first).
The reduced airflow and strained breathing puts a lot of stress and strain on your heart. When you don’t get enough sleep in general, it can harm your heart. Cardiovascular disease, strokes, heart attacks and in critical cases even death, have all been connected to lack of sleep. Additionally, chronic sleep loss prevents your body’s ability to perform even basic metabolic functions, including regulating your hormones.
Introducing, MicrO2 Sleep and Snore Device
If you visit your family doctor, chances are they will prescribe a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine for sleep apnea treatment. While they do work, the problem is a lot of people find it uncomfortable to use and they don’t end up using it. In fact, only about 25% of people can fully adapt to CPAP use, therefore the majority of people continue to suffer from sleep apnea and it’s potential life-threatening consequences.
Dr. Shauna Palmer has found oral appliance therapy to be a more successful and simple sleep apnea treatment for her patients. In case by case treatments, Dr. Palmer fits you with an appliance, which would be comparable to a mouth guard or one used to treat TMJ jaw problems.
This appliance re-positions your jaw and tongue to a more forward position, helping keep your airway open during sleep. Since Dr. Palmer uses a physiologic technique to determine this position, it is more effective, it stops grinding of teeth, it is easy to adapt to, and it prevents and reduces more common side effects of traditional sleep apnea devices like TMJ pain and bite changes for example. Oral appliance therapy is also an effective treatment for snoring.
Using the MicrO2 device has its advantages:
- it’s light in weight
- there’s no tongue space invasion
- there are no metal parts to adjust or weaken the appliance
Read more about the MicrO2 Sleep and Snore Device here.
Wake up refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to face the day
Most people wouldn’t think to ask their dentist about their sleep problem. But the most common sleep disruption is snoring and sleep apnea, both of which are completely treatable by a sleep trained dentist. A sleep apnea focused dentist like Dr. Palmer, can help you reduce and even eliminate your sleep problems altogether with a sleep apnea treatment. When your airways are restricted and your breathing is affected, a lot of times this is directly related to the position of your jaw and it can be alleviated with orthotics and sleep appliances.
Face tomorrow invigorated and recharged by finally getting a good night sleep tonight.
Call our West Kelowna dental clinic today and find out exactly what you are dealing with and what your sleep apnea treatment is best for you.