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January 23, 2019
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Sleep Apnea: Your Dentist Can Help

What is Sleep Apnea?

When you sleep, the muscles around your tongue start to relax. When you suffer from sleep apnea, this can block the airflow to your lungs which interrupts your breathing. The severity of your sleep apnea is linked to the number of breathing interruptions you have per hour. When you have more than 30 breathing pauses per hour, this can be quite severe.


The most common signs include pauses in breathing while you sleep, chronic snoring, fatigue during the daytime, difficulty paying attention, and morning headaches. You may also gasp or snort while you sleep.

Importance of Treatment

Getting enough sleep is incredibly important for your health and state of mind. If you suffer from this condition, you may also find that your productivity decreases significantly. Lack of sleep can also cause chronic stress and even depression.

Another reason to prioritize treatment is that sleep apnea can increase your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular problems like heart arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, and stroke. It can also increase your blood pressure.

Let’s take a look at how you should go about to treat sleep apnea quickly and effectively.

Treatment Options

The objective when treating sleep apnea is to improve the airflow to your lungs. One of the most effective and comfortable ways to do this is with dental appliances. There are two types of dental appliances: mandibular advancement devices (MADs) and tongue retaining mouthpieces.

A MAD is an adjustable device that fits comfortably in your mouth to keep your jaw in position and your airways open. Tongue retaining mouthpieces are used to keep your tongue from blocking your airways.

The type you choose depends on your unique condition and oral pathology. For example, if you have difficulty adjusting your jaw while you are sleeping, a tongue retaining mouthpiece may be the better option.

How can Your Dentist Help?

If you experience the symptoms of sleep apnea, the first thing you should do is to schedule an appointment with your dentist. During the dental examination, your dentist will pinpoint the exact cause of the airflow obstruction to your lungs.

They will also make sure that your oral health is on par and make recommendations if this is not the case. Additionally, your dentist will ensure that wearing a dental appliance is the best option for you and that your mouth is fit for using such a device.

Your dentist may also want to explore other possible causes for your sleep apnea. For example, if you have an overbite or if you are a heavy smoker, they may make other recommendations they see fit.

When you make use of a dental appliance, it is important to schedule regular appointments with your dentist to ensure that you maintain your oral health and hygiene. Make sure that you brush your teeth and floss every day so that your gums and teeth are in the best condition possible. Doing so may result in alleviating sleep apnea quicker and more effectively.

Bellerive Dental Clinic
Bellerive Dental Clinic
The Bellerive Dental Clinic offers you dental expertise in a climate of trust. We are an experienced team, dedicated to our patients and we practice according to the highest standards in the industry.