If you’re struggling with sleep or you’re waking up a lot at night, it’s possible that you could have sleep apnea. If your partner has told you that you snore or you’ve woken up breathless, sleep apnea could negatively affect your sleep habits. It’s estimated that over 5.4 million Canadians have sleep apnea, and many of them are untreated.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that causes your breathing to stop and start during sleep. The sleep disorder is characterized by breathing being interrupted during the night. “Apnea” is a Greek word that means “no breathe.”
When a person stops breathing for up to ten seconds each time, it’s considered obstructive sleep apnea. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to a stroke, a heart attack or can be fatal.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
The most common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Teeth clenching or grinding
- Constantly feeling exhausted
- Dry mouth
- Sore throat
- Headaches in the morning
- High blood pressure
- Night sweats
- Waking up gasping or choking
- Mood swings
- Episodes of not breathing during sleep
If you have conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure or are overweight, research shows that you have an increased risk of sleep apnea. If you have one or more of these symptoms, you could be suffering from mild to severe sleep apnea. Treating this condition can help improve your health, wellness, daily activities and your mental health.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Typically, the first treatment for sleep apnea is using a CPAP machine. As the machines are an investment and can be expensive, not everyone can afford them. They can also be very disruptive and aren’t effective for everyone.
Another option could be to talk to your dentist about a snore guard.
What is a Snore Guard?
A snore guard is a dental appliance specifically crafted to help reduce snoring. This custom-fitted device works by maintaining your lower jaw in a forward position during sleep. The underlying concept behind a snore guard is that advancing the jaw enlarges the upper airway, minimizing the air resistance that often causes snoring.
The device effectively keeps the jaw and tongue from receding into the throat, which can narrow the airway. By advancing the position of the lower jaw, snore guards are effective in alleviating or even completely stopping snoring by preventing airway blockages.
Impressions of your upper and lower teeth are taken to create a snore guard. These impressions are then sent to a dental laboratory, where your personalized snore guard is crafted to fit your mouth with precision. Once completed, the guard will comfortably fit over your upper teeth and gently position your lower jaw in an ideal alignment for sleep, offering a snug and effective solution to snoring.
How Airdrie 8th Street Dental Can Help with Sleep Apnea
Sleep is so vital for our overall health and mental wellbeing. Sleep deprivation can have profound effects on our health and even shorten our lifespans. If the CPAP machine is not a viable option, Airdrie 8th Street Dental can help with a snore guard. We offer direct billing, and we’re always accepting new clients with no referral required. Our extended evening and weekend appointments are available for your convenience. Request your appointment online today.