Sleep Apnea / Snoring Treatment

A woman with a migraine holding her head in pain.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition where the muscles of the soft palate at the base of the tongue and the uvula relax and sag, obstructing the airway, resulting in laboured breathing and noisy snoring. The collapse of the airway walls blocks breathing entirely. When you begin to breathe, however, it’s accompanied with loud snoring. The snoring is akin to slurping a drink through a straw that is stuck in a lump of ice cream. A listener hears deep gasping as breathing starts. With each gasp, you awaken, but so briefly and incompletely that you don’t remember doing so in the morning. Concomitantly, when breathing periodically stops, a listener hears pauses in your snoring. Sometimes, these pauses can last 10-20 seconds, or more and can be 5 to over 100 times per hour.

Symptoms of OSA may be hard to keep track of on your own since the most prominent symptoms occur when you’re asleep. The symptoms listed here are only a partial representation and should not be the only criteria used to diagnose OSA:

  • Clouded intellect
  • Short term memory impairment
  • Morning headaches
  • Irritability Mood swings
  • Impaired judgment

Believe it or not, sleep apnea is very much a dental problem. Sleep apnea can cause you to breathe through your mouth. Mouth breathing results in dry mouth, which in turn, leads to tooth decay, plaque, gingivitis, mouth sores, and periodontal disease. A dentist can prescribe a few dental appliances to prevent any dental problems. Our top-rated dentists can help alleviate some of the symptoms through the use of behaviour modifications like Oral Appliance Therapy. This type of therapy has proven to be very successful in the management of snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. A dental appliance is a small plastic device, similar to an orthodontic retainer, or an athletic mouthguard. It is worn in the mouth during sleep to prevent the soft throat tissues from collapsing and obstructing the airway. Devices like Mandibular advancement devices (MAD) snap over the upper and lower dental arches and have metal hinges that make it possible for the lower jaw to be eased forward. Meanwhile, a tongue retaining device is a splint that holds the tongue in place to keep the airway open. Our Dentists have training in dental appliance therapy and can prescribe these special appliances to meet your dental needs.

If you’ve been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, don’t hesitate to call Centrum Dental Centre or click here to Book An Appointment for help.