Many patients are surprised to hear that a dental professional can see the early signs of sleep apnea sooner than a medical doctor. A large percentage of the ten-million people suffering from sleep apnea first learn that they have symptoms of the disorder from their dentist.
Our dentist is a highly trained sleep apnea dentist in San Francisco who has spent many years helping patients who are robbed of their sleep and oral health by the disorder. A well-trained dentist such as our dentist is able to spot even subtle signs of dental damage that comes from sleep apnea.
Here are the most common dental problems caused by sleep apnea.
• Dry Mouth- While dry mouth seems like an uncomfortable inconvenience than a serious issue, it often leads to other, more severe dental problems. Dry mouth occurs along with sleep apnea because patients with the disorder are typically mouth breathers while they are sleeping. When there is not enough saliva present in your mouth, bacteria grow and multiply, unchecked. Excessive bacteria are a cause of many dental problems including gum disease.
• Teeth Grinding- Formally known as bruxism, repeated grinding of your teeth while you are asleep is symptomatic of sleep apnea and can wreak havoc on your oral health. Sleep apnea patients often experience bruxism because it is the brain’s way of attempting to wake the patient so that they breathe normally. We see patients with sleep apnea experience cracked teeth, tooth enamel that is worn away, waking up with headaches, stiff necks, and jaw pain because of bruxism.
• Temporomandibular Joint Disorder- This painful ailment is often a result of ongoing sleep apnea. The joint experiences excessive wear because of the long-term teeth grinding associated with sleep apnea. After exposure to extreme pressure from bruxism over a period of time, a patient’s temporomandibular joint suffers from inflammation and dislocation. The pain is severe and successful treatment takes time.
If you believe that you experience sleep apnea, talk with our dentist for helpful suggestions along with a thorough examination.
Sleeping disorders can invade multiple areas of your life and keep you from feeling your best. But what if you are unsure whether you have one? For disorders like sleep apnea, there are several indicators you or your partner may notice if you suffer from poor quality sleep.
Sleep apnea is classified as one or numerous pauses in breath during sleep that can last from one to several seconds long.
Our Agoura Hills dentist recognizes these key symptoms as indicators of sleep apnea:
Snoring- Loud, incessant snoring is not only frustrating, but also a large clue when it comes to diagnosing sleep apnea.
Jolting out of sleep- Gasping for air or waking up due to a choking sensation are both common in patients with obtrusive sleep apnea.
Morning headaches- forgetfulness, headaches, and lack of energy after a full night’s rest are reasonable cause to see a sleep apnea dentist.
If you think you may have sleep apnea, it is crucial to consult our dentist about potential treatment options to avoid any side effects associated with this disorder. You will be met with several practical options to combat this disorder and live a high quality life.
Call our office for more information or to set up a consultation with our sleep apnea dentist.
Sleep specialists come from outlying areas of medicine. Some are otolaryngologists, some are pulmonologists. Others are even psychiatrists. This kind of extramural training can be essential to deciphering all the moving parts of a sleep apnea diagnosis. You may not have sleep apnea just because you snore. Sleep apnea symptoms can present as chronic fatigue or loss of cognition. You may need a sleep study to fully know.
If it comes to a sleep study, you can easily find one in your area that’s board-certified. A team of specialists working together, studying your sleep behavior in real time, can put you on the fastest road to recovery.
If you choose to forego the formality of a sleep study, or if the insurance you have won’t cover a specialist without a referral, our sleep apnea doctor can recommend several at-home recourses to try. These involve lifestyle shifts, like drinking less and quitting smoking. A healthier diet can reduce stress and help you lose weight. Try healthy fats and all the protein you can eat, as well as high-fiber foods like sprouted beans and ancient whole grains. Obesity is one of the most common links to sleep apnea, especially in older males.
To get started in a sleep apnea education, contact our sleep apnea doctor.
A sleep apnea diagnosis can only be delivered by a doctor certified in sleep medicine. Such a diagnosis may require several rounds of testing, starting with a sleep journal you keep yourself and continuing through a full night’s sleep under observation, at a designated site. Using information gathered by a full array of body sensors, our Thousand Oaks sleep apnea doctor can make a diagnosis and start talking treatment.
The most commonly-used weapon against sleep apnea is CPAP therapy. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure, which is exerted using a regulator and mask. The mask keeps your airway open during sleep, while the regulator lowers blood pressure. Most cases see results with CPAP. However, the mask is an intrusion not all claustrophobes can handle. Alternative treatments include oral appliances, which look like ordinary mouth guards but either hold the tongue back or the jaw forward, depending on your physicality.
Another option if CPAP doesn’t work is the Winx system, which manipulates the soft palate and uvula to enlarge the upper airway.
Before prescribing CPAP for sleep apnea treatment, the doctor may suggest simple lifestyle fixes, like weight loss or quitting drinking or smoking. Personal habits inform your sleep schedule, and your body’s status while at rest, more than you know.
Sleep apnea patients suffer from a severe lack of sleep. The limited amount of air into the system leads to a deficiency of full REM cycle sleep, repeated waking during the night, and disruptive snoring. This lack of quality sleep can cause many symptoms and risks during the day, ranging from some minor issues such as moodiness, listlessness, and excessive hunger, to more serious issues such as heart complications and depression. So how do the experts at our sleep apnea center help provide relief for sleep apnea patients?
Some patients see success from simple lifestyle changes. Weight loss can create more space in the throat, allowing for more air to flow through. Changing the sleeping position, from lying on the back to on the side for example, may show some results, as well.
If more relief is needed, an oral appliance may be recommended. These mouth guard-like appliances are worn at night and shift the lower jaw, or both the lower jaw and tongue, forward. This repositions the muscles and tissues in the throat and allows for more space for air.
Many patients use CPAP machines, which stands for Continuous Positive Air Pressure. This provides constant air into the system via tubes connected to the mouth and nose. Visit our expert today to learn more about effective sleep apnea relief tactics.
Sleep apnea is characterized by several breathing difficulties. The airway may be impacted by genetic factors, such as an overlarge tongue, or it may be compressed by body weight. Shortness of breath is often reported by sleep apnea sufferers, especially the overweight.
Sleep apnea researchers are divided on whether or not apnea can cause shortness of breath during the day, so you should tell your doctor if you have this. It may be indicative of a respiratory, autoimmune, or cardiac condition.
Shortness of breath can also be caused by reflux or esophageal spams. These are at least indirectly related to sleep apnea. If the patient is overweight, breathing difficulty may even lead to anxiety or panic attacks.
During sleep, the body will wake itself up if oxygen deprivation is detected. This process can happen as many as 30 times per hour of sleep in severe cases. Naturally, these constant interruptions leave the patient tired, irritable, and subject to headache during the day.
Causes of sleep apnea include obesity, drinking and smoking habits, neck circumference, and being male—sleep apnea is more common in men. Obviously, there are lifestyle changes you can make to get yourself out of the risk area. Try to lose weight, and try to quit smoking.
For information on sleep apnea centers, contact someone from our group.
Sleep apnea is a well-known condition with well-known symptoms. However, causes and treatments can cover a wide range of information. For starters, you should familiarize yourself with the three main types of sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea
This is the most common apnea, and afflicts approximately 4 percent of men and 2 percent of women. It is caused by partial or complete blockage of the airway during sleep. This reduces blood flow to the brain, which then wakes the body up in a kind of panic. Even if you do not wake fully, a sleep disturbance is registered. These tend to add up, sometimes occurring hundreds of times per night.
Central sleep apnea
Whereas obstructive sleep apnea is body-based, this particular sleep dysfunction is more brain-based. It has been linked to Parkinson’s and other diseases of the brainstem. Here, the sleep disturbance is caused by tiny, but consistent, cognitive short-circuits, which keep the brain from signaling the muscles that control airflow.
Mixed sleep apnea
Obviously, this is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apneas. A number of obstructive sleep apnea patients, after being treated with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machinery, tend to oddly develop symptoms of central sleep apnea. This is usually managed by adjusting settings on the CPAP machine to ensure the patient gets the lowest velocity of airflow.