Snoring & Sleep Apnea
Snoring & sleep apnea can disturb your sleep and overall health.
Snoring occurs when the tongue falls into the back of the throat. This narrows the airway and causes air to move quickly through the passage, resulting in the vibration of the uvula (i.e. snoring). Even though light snoring may not be life-threatening it is a significant concern/disturbance/interruption for your significant other. However, where CPAP is not indicated or patient is intolerant, and your snoring advances into sleep apnea, that’s when you start getting worried and consult your doctor. Snoring & sleep apnea treatment cannot only alleviate symptoms of dirupted sleep but also improve your overal health.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the airway completely collapses, blocking airflow into the lungs. It is a serious and life threatening condition. When the obstruction remains in place for more than 10 seconds and occurs more than five times per hour, the patient may exhibit chronic sleepiness, depression, high blood pressure and morning headaches due to hypoxia (a low level of oxygen during sleep). There’s also a higher risk of strokes and heart attacks with these patients.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment Sequence:
(for mild/moderate sleep apnea and CPAP intolerant cases)
- Medical assessment by family doctor or sleep specialist, including sleep test.
- Referral and diagnostic reports sent to dentist (for mild to moderate OSA cases).
- Clinical dental examination.
- Fabrication and insertion of OSA appliance (follow up appointments are necessary).
- In severe cases, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) or even uvula surgery may be considered.
Dr. Bradley Oldfin at Brimley South Dental is highly trained in the management and treatment of sleep disorder breathing. As sleep disorder breathing is a medical condition, the diagnosis can only be made by a sleep specialist. If necessary, Dr. Oldfin will refer you to a sleep specialist for a medical diagnosis through consultation with your medical doctor.