Today our dentists in Winnipeg discuss the sleeping disorder known as sleep apnea. We go into detail about the emotional, mental and physical impacts it can have on your health as well as, explain when surgery will be needed for this condition.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea happens when you have frequent, abrupt breathing interruptions when you sleep. This is considered a serious breathing disorder.
When your airways becomes partially blocked your palatal tissue will vibrate causing you to snore. You can encounter obstructive sleep apnea when your airway becomes fully blocked for brief periods of time.
This disorder can have some major, negative impacts on your emotional, physical and mental health. Luckily there is a lot of treatments out there to help this condition including CPAP machines, oral appliances and in some very rare situations surgery.
How Sleep Apnea Impacts Your Health
Sleep apnea could cause a large variety of severe physical and mental health problems which can be accompanied by some serious symptoms such as interrupted sleep which in short term can put you at risk of depression, cardiovascular disease, and eventually, early death.
The Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
If obtrusive sleep apnea goes untreated you can be at risk of numerous health issues, including:
- Lack of energy
- Awakening with headache or dry mouth
- Cardiovascular disease
- Problems with memory or memory loss
- Extremely loud snoring
- Heart attack
As people know, snoring can even cause sleeping problems for a spouse. Although, there is hope in finding the right treatment method that considers the patients needs and effectively resolves this medical condition.
How Sleep Apnea Is Treated
There are many successful treatments for sleep apnea. Depending on your needs, your dentist may recommend:
We can offer or recommend custom-fitted oral appliances to shift your tongue and lower jaw muscles to ensure the airway stays open. This helps airflow and prevents you from waking during the night.
Known as Continuous Positive Air Pressure Machines, these electronic devices use an internal fan to draw air inside. The air is then humidified and pressurized before being sent to the user through a connective base and face mask, which they breathe through.
At Academy Dental Group, we take a non-invasive approach to dental care and only recommend getting surgery done for rare cases that can’t be successfully treated with the methods that we offer such as oral appliances or lifestyle changes.
Do I Need Sleep Apnea Surgery?
If no other treatment options have worked, one or more surgeries may be recommended. Surgical options include:
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) to remove and reposition excess tissue in the throat and widen the airway.
- Radiofrequency Volumetric Tissue Reduction (RFVTR) to shrink and tighten tissues in and around the throat.
- Septoplasty and Turbinate Reduction to straighten a bent or deviated nasal septum.
- Hyoid Suspension to pull the hyoid bone (located in the neck) forward and secure it in place, enlarging the space for breathing in your lower throat.
- Maxillomandibular osteotomy (MMO) and advancement (MMA) for people with severe sleep apnea. The bones of the jaws are cut and will heal over months.
These are a few surgical procedures that may effectively treat sleep apnea. Your dentist may recommend a less common one depending on your case and requirements.