Scientific studies have shown a correlation between untreated sleep apnea and cardiovascular problems/heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity, sexual dysfunction, learning/memory problems, and an increased risk of cancer due to reduced levels of oxygen (hypoxia) from the sleep apnea.
As dentists, we often see the associated physical symptoms of sleep apnea, like wear on teeth from clenching and grinding, as well as the effects on the tissue in the mouth. Although continuous positive airway (CPAP) pressure therapy is the most recommended treatment for patients with sleep apnea, compliance levels have been shown to be quite low. This is because the CPAP machine can be cumbersome to travel with bulky, noisy, and uncomfortable to wear. At Pathways Dental Clinic, we offer an alternative in the form of a custom night guard. Since some types of it are a result of jaw positioning, wearing a custom-fitted oral appliance night guard can reposition the jaw by bringing it forward, which opens the airway and increases oxygen intake during sleep. You can breathe easy without masks, hoses, or forced air.
An at-home sleep test will allow the dentists at Pathways Dental Clinic, along with a certified sleep medicine physician, to determine the severity of your disease and determine if oral appliance therapy can be used to help treat your sleep apnea.
In some cases, if you already use a CPAP appliance, our dentists may need to work in conjunction with your pulmonologist. Dr. Kim and Dr. Bouma work closely with your sleep apnea specialist to prescribe the most suitable treatments for your oral health and lifestyle.
Getting enough quality sleep is vital to your overall health. Dealing with sleep apnea is an important aspect of your oral health you may not have considered before, or it might be a condition you weren’t aware you ever had. Start getting a better night’s sleep today so you can smile more!
If you or your partner currently struggle with or suspect that you have sleep apnea, we invite you to call our Calgary dental clinic today to schedule a new patient consultation. A general dentist provides all treatment. For more complex cases, we may refer our patients to a specialist for treatment. Schedule your visit today to see your dentists and dental hygienists at Pathways Dental Clinic.