Sleep Apnea and Dentistry – Treating Sleep Apnea without the Mask

Sleep apnea is a common respiratory disorder that affects different people irrespective of their age group and gender. It is a dangerous disease because it is often misdiagnosed by medical practitioners due to its non-obvious symptoms. A sleep apnea dentist may be able to treat sleep apnea without a mask. Click here to find our more sleep apnea and dentistry.

People suffering from sleep apnea often think that it is asymptomatic because the symptoms appear during sleep. It is often detected by their neighbors, spouses, siblings, family, or colleague members. There are 2 different types of sleep apnea (central and obstructive) depending on the etiology and source of sleep apnea.

It is a chronic condition that requires long-term treatment and management. It can be managed with lifestyle changes, surgery, using special and dedicated mouthpieces, and breathing devices are used in treating different types of apnea. It is the leading cause of excessive fatigue and sleepiness during the daytime.

Sleep Apnea Definition

It is defined medically as a frequent pause in breadth (apnea) or shallow breadth during sleep. The duration of the pause in breadth lasts for some seconds to few minutes. The apnea frequency depends on the type. It could occur 30 times within an hour. There is a brief period of normal breathing signified by a loud snort or sound. This frequent apnea alters the sleep pattern and cycle of individuals leading to excessive fatigue during the daytime. The poor quality of sleep due to the apnea reduces the productivity level of people affected.

Types of Sleep Apnea

There are different types of apnea depending on etiology and source of the apnea. The most

Popular types of apnea include:

  1. Central Apnea: This is the type of apnea that occurs as a result of problems with the central nervous system. In this type of Apnea, the breathing control center of the brain delays in sending signals to the respiratory muscles leading to a period of brief apnea. It is less common when compared to obstructive apnea. There is usually an absence of snoring in central Apnea. It affects different people irrespective of age groups and more related with drug users.
  2. Obstructive Apnea: This is an obesity-related apnea that affects all types of age groups. This type of apnea involves forceful breathing with closed or blocked airways. The forceful breathing produces a loud snort because of the closed glottis and airways. It is the most common type of apnea especially in children with enlarged tonsilar tissues.

Sleep Apnea Causes and Risk factors

There are different etiologies of sleep apnea depends on the type of apnea involved. The most frequent cause of apnea includes:

  1. Obesity: This is the leading cause of obstructive apnea; the airways could be blocked by the presence of fatty tissue in the respiratory system.
  2. Gender: Sleep apnea has been discovered to occur more in men than in women due to the anatomy of the man’s body.
  3. Age: people above the age of 40 years are more predisposed to having sleep apnea. It is less common among youth and millennials.
  4. Neck size: The size of your neck could predispose you to have sleep apnea especially if the length of your neck is greater than 17 inches and 16 inches for men and women respectively.
  5. The shape of the Skull: The shape of the skull and its content could predispose people to have sleep apnea. People with large tonsil, jaw bone and smaller tongue have increased the tendency of developing sleep apnea.
  6. Family History: Sleep apnea could be genetically linked and can occur more often in people with family history of this disease.
  7. Underlying Diseases: it is advisable to treat any underlying disease in patients suffering from sleep apnea. Some diseases such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, allergies, sinusitis diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and deviated septum.
  8. Hypertension: There is a strong relationship between apneic and hypertensive patients. Most people suffering from sleep apnea also develop hypertension as comorbidity.
  9. Smoking: increased smoking and excessive alcohol intake could predispose people to obesity and obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

The major goal of treatment of sleep apnea is to restore normal breathing and eliminate abnormal sleep patterns, daytime fatigue, drowsiness loud snort and other comorbidities associated with sleep apnea. There are different types of treatment depending on the etiology and severity of the sleep apnea. The most prevalent treatment includes:

  1. Lifestyle Changes: This is often used for the treatment of mild sleep apnea in different age groups. Simple lifestyle tweaks such as avoiding alcohol, cigarette, sleeping drugs or pills, and sleeping on your back can help in the treatment of sleep apnea. It is advisable to always sleep on your side to keep put throat open .there are special pillows and shirts to prevent sleeping on your back.
  2. Sleep Apnea Mouthpiece: This device is also called oral appliances, and used in treating mild sleep apnea and eliminating loud snort in non-apneic patients. This mouthpiece is the best treatment for mild sleep apnea and functions effectively when assembled by a professional periodontist. If you have any discomfort or feel uncomfortable with your mouthpiece, visit the nearest professional periodontist.
  3. Sleep Apnea Machine: The most common sleep apnea machine treatment is continuous positive Airway pressure (CPAP). CPAP involves the use of specially fitted masks for treating sleep apnea and eliminating snoring.  The absence of snoring does not eliminate the diagnosis of sleep CPAP has some side effects such as allergy, itching, and irritation of the nose and mouth. There could be other gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and bloating while wearing the mask.
  4. Surgery:  there are different types of surgery performed in the treatment of sleep apnea depends on the etiology of the sleep apnea. There could be the removal of extra tissues obstructing the throat and Tonsillectomy could also be performed, if it is the leading etiology of the apnea.

Sleep apnea is a respiratory disorder that affects primarily obsessed and people above the age of 40 years. There are different types of treatment for sleep apnea. The best way to treat sleep apnea without the mask and its side effects is to use a special mouthpiece assembled by professional or periodontist.

 

References

Helpguide.org. (2018). Sleep Apnea: Symptoms, Self-Help, and Treatment Alternatives. [online] Available at: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/sleep-apnea.htm [Accessed 8 Jan. 2018].

Nhlbi.nih.gov. (2018). Sleep Apnea | National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. [online] Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sleep-apnea [Accessed 8 Jan. 2018].

SleepApnea.org. (2018). Home – SleepApnea.org. [online] Available at: https://www.sleepapnea.org/ [Accessed 8 Jan. 2018].

Sleepeducation.org. (2018). Sleep Apnea Overview and Facts – Sleep Education. [online] Available at: http://www.sleepeducation.org/essentials-in-sleep/sleep-apnea [Accessed 8 Jan. 2018].