Sleep Science and Dentistry: Raising Awareness for Disordered Breathing

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If you, or someone you know, has trouble with their sleep patterns and chronic tiredness, you could be suffering from an undiagnosed form of disordered breathing called sleep apnea. At Viva Dental WellnessSnore Centre in Edmonton, we are passionate about spreading awareness about this dangerous condition and we work to help our valued patients regain the quality of life they lost to sleep apnea each day.

Sleep apnea treatment in Edmonton is increasingly available as awareness grows about this not-so-uncommon sleep disorder. Our dental clinic in Edmonton is privileged to help patients from across the city and surrounding areas, not just those seeking a dentist in southside Edmonton. We utilize Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) as well as Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) devices to treat both obstructive and central apnea, as well as lifestyle education to support weight loss and increased exercise.

Why Isn’t There More Awareness?

Although there is more and more awareness building all the time, the nature of sleep apnea is that it can go on for some time until its side effects cause significant suffering, and patients start talking to their dentist or doctor about it. If you sleep with a partner and they regularly complain of your chronic snoring, you can see your family dentist in Edmonton. Even the best dental clinic in Edmonton may not offer OAT or CPAP therapy, however, so call before you go.

Signs and symptoms

While central apnea deals more in neurology, obstructive sleep apnea is far more common and is caused by tissues blocking the throat. Partners may notice great pauses in your breath followed by gasping and choking while you sleep.

Patients

Patients who sleep alone may find their condition more difficult to determine on their own. Instead, we encourage our clients to watch for signs of sleep apnea during the day. If you wake up in the morning feeling as tired or more tired than when you went to bed, this could be a sign that apnea is continuously waking you throughout the night. A sore throat may develop from mouth-breathing through the night rather than breathing through the nose, and headaches may start to be a continuous symptom upon waking. Patients with untreated sleep apnea will find that they start the day tired and remain tired and low energy throughout the day.

Sleep apnea can destabilize mental health resulting in anxiety, irritability and depression. Difficulty working with others can arise as a result, and trouble with memory and concentration may worsen this effect. Before you look for a dentist in south Edmonton to diagnose and treat your condition, it may be helpful to keep a journal for two weeks to record how you feel upon waking and any other significant occurrences throughout the day. Include sleep and wake times in your journal and any other information you might find pertinent. Doing this allows you to see, without relying on memory, how these symptoms are impacting you and can inform some of the conversations with your dentist if you do decide to pursue snoring treatment in Edmonton.

Children may also develop sleep apnea. If you suspect this condition in your child, record daily wake and rest times and symptoms as above, adding any behavioral problems occurring during the recorded period.

How Does Sleep Apnea Occur?

Central sleep apnea is caused by a break in communication between the brain and body which results in the absence of the impulse to draw breath. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by tissues falling over the airway and blocking the patient from drawing air. This block can result in long forceful snoring with each breath or pauses in breath that results in gasping and struggling for air. Sleep apnea is unlikely to fully wake up a patient – instead, it keeps the patient in a light sleep through the night. Without the depth of rest needed for restorative sleep, the systems of the body suffer. The consequences include increased incidence of accidents, heart attacks, and stroke. Physical performance decreases with compromised sleep and conditions like blood pressure and diabetes become more difficult to manage. Weight gain plays a part in obstructive sleep apnea since weight is held over the airway while patients are at rest on their backs. Talk to your dentist about how weight loss could help you on your journey through sleep apnea. 

How to Find a Dentist Near Me

If you are already working with the best dentist in Edmonton for you, you don’t have to forfeit your relationship in order to attend a sleep apnea clinic in Edmonton. Your dentist can refer you to other sleep apnea clinics for treatment and continue to oversee your oral health. Looking for a dentist in Windermere? Viva Dental Wellness and the Snore Center offers treatment for sleep apnea as well as comprehensive dentistry.

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