The Dangers of Uncontrolled Sleep Apnea     

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Of all the things you do to maintain your health, which is the most important? Is it eating a diet low in seed oils, simple sugars and breads? Is it your renewed focus on kicking the habit of cigarettes? What about exercise? When you haven’t got your 10 000 steps in, do you worry that your cardiovascular system will suffer? Maybe you’re reducing your intake of alcohol or spending more time outside? Whatever you do to keep yourself healthy, we’d like to add a further consideration:

Good Sleep Hygiene

You don’t have to be the best dentist in Edmonton to know that sleep is important. At Viva Dental Wellness, we know that not enough is said about the importance of sleep quality in general. Without education about the importance of sleep, it is less likely to be prioritized. Often, sleep is sacrificed to responsibilities. Need to write a paper? Guess you’re staying up late. More work to be done at work? Maybe I’ll wake up early and head into the office. Many of us treat sleep like a ‘plus’ rather than a non-negotiable element of our lives.

Sure, we are told that adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per day. And we definitely feel better when we get it. But often the weekends are spent slept sleeping the morning away after being sleep deprived during the week. That’s why, at our dental clinic in Windermere, we teach our patients the importance of regular sleep.

It should tell us something that babies and toddlers require regular naps as well as a good night’s sleep when their brains are growing. Our brains may not be growing the way a baby’s is, but as adults sleep helps us synthesize new memories from the day, relax and restore muscles, and ‘clean’ the brain.

Yes, your brain actually goes through a cleaning cycle each night in which it throws out all the ‘junk mail’. Junk mail refers to the information that your brain has acquired through the day that isn’t important to remember – the unrequired elements and information it has picked up. While this process happens during your waking hours, it is supercharged while you sleep to be maximally effective.

In order for your sleep to be productive, you need to undergo REM sleep. This is the restorative sleep that allows your brain to do a cleansing sweep. Not only are many patients getting inadequate sleep – the quality of their sleep is also inadequate.

If you haven’t slept well in years, identifying the reason can take longer than it should as we try to downplay the issue.

Sleep Apnea in Edmonton

If you are setting the right conditions for sleep (not eating close to bedtime, darkening rooms etc.) and you still aren’t feeling rested in the morning, it might be time to consider whether there is more at play.

Sleep apnea can cause snoring and gasping due to excess tissue draping over the windpipe while at rest. Indications that this is happening is often due to complaints from partners about excessive snoring, and reports of very dry mouth in the morning due to mouth breathing.

As family dentists in Edmonton, we also look for signs and evidence of apnea such as: gasping for breath intermittently throughout the night, long pauses between inhalation and headaches/disordered thinking during the day.

Can I receive snoring treatment from a local dentist near me?

For snoring treatment in Edmonton, you’ll want to see a dentist who is trained in interpreting sleep study data in the event that they deem this necessary.

What type of Apnea?

 Earlier we outlined how snoring and sleep apnea are related. At our dental clinic in Edmonton, we offer oral appliances that can help to stretch the tissues in the throat in order to keep airways clear. This kind of apnea is known as ‘obstructive’.

But there exists a second form of apnea which is caused by a lost connection between the brain and the impulse to take a breath. Severe forms can lead to minutes of pause between breaths, depriving your body of oxygen. This is called central apnea and this form of apnea often requires wearing a positive pressure mask at night.

Is Sleep Apnea Dangerous?

Sleep apnea is a complex topic, the long and short of which is: yes. Studies have found a relationship between sleep apnea and serious health problems such as high blood sugar, diabetes, strokes and heart attacks.

Is Viva Dental Wellness the best dental clinic in Edmonton for treatment?

If you require a dentist in south Edmonton, or more particularly a dental clinic in Windermere, we would be happy to assist you in correcting your sleep challenges. In fact, we own and operate the Snore Centre, which specializes in correcting sleep challenges.

Still, if a Windermere dentist is too far to get to, there are other dentists in Southside Edmonton who are trained in treating sleep apnea.

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