Combat Sleep Apnea with Dental Help

Posted: August 28, 2018 By: Comment: 0

Man that is waking up to his alarm and is very tired.

The American Sleep Apnea Association reports that at least 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. When left untreated, over time, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) can cause chronic heart failure, stroke, cardiovascular problems, severe fatigue and much more. One of the best ways to combat this condition is with a customized dental device. The MicrO2 Sleep Device reduces nighttime snoring and mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Find out how this device works and what it can do for you!

 

What Is Sleep Apnea?

The National Sleep Foundation reports that more than 18 million Americans struggle with sleep apnea on a regular basis. This is a serious condition where breathing is obstructed during the night, which cuts off oxygen flow to the brain and disrupts sleep. “Apnea” is when a person stops breathing for 10 seconds or more. It’s called “sleep apnea” because this happens when a person sleeps and should be getting rest, but their breathing prevents that from happening.

 

A person will go to sleep like normal, but their throat muscles will fail to keep their airway open so normal breathing can happen. With some patients, their lower jaw relaxes and the tongue falls back in their throat, blocking off air normal airflow. When the airway is blocked, it’s called “Obstructive Sleep Apnea”. If sleep apnea stems from another source, it is likely “central sleep apnea”, which is when the brain doesn’t regulate breathing during sleep properly.

 

An example of a person with a normal airway open and an example next to it of what sleep apnea looks like.

Problems that Stem from Poor Sleep

Are you aware of the impact that poor sleep can have on you? There is a reason that your body needs 6-8 hours or more of sleep at night. Without it, there is no way for the body to cleanse itself and remove toxins. When you sleep, your body’s digestive system works to remove body toxins. The fluid in your brain increases to get rid of waste, your memories and learning are processed and stored, and your muscles and tissues get to regenerate. When you don’t sleep well or sleep enough you can have problems such as:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Poor immune system
  • Weight gain or problems losing weight
  • Higher risk accidents due to drowsiness
  • Mental fog and trouble thinking
  • Headaches and frequent migraines
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Memory problems/forgetfulness
  • Mood changes
  • Poor balance
  • Higher risk for chronic diseases like diabetes
  • Anxiety
  • Increased stroke risk

 

Adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep at night. Young adults should get the same, but children need between 8 and 10. Newborns and infants need as much as 14-17 each day. Getting the right amount of sleep can be extremely difficult if you have a problem such as sleep apnea cutting off your air at night.

 

Sleep Apnea Devices

There are easy ways to help fix obstructive sleep apnea, which is through a customized dental appliance you wear in your mouth. You have to have these devices custom-made and there are only a few of them available. At our office, we have the MicrO2 Sleep Device, which has been designed to specifically treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). The MicrO2 reduces nighttime snoring and mild to moderate OSA in adults by holding your lower jaw forward during sleep. This prevents your tongue and throat tissues from collapsing into your airway.

 

The MicrO2 Sleep Device allows tongue space and the ability to open and close during wear. It’s precise, predictable and easy to use. The MicrO2 is the only sleep apnea device made from control-cured PMMA, which makes it small but also very durable and strong. Instead of a bulky appliance, it is somewhat like a retainer that fits easily in your mouth. The use of the mouthguard can help stop Obstructive Sleep Apnea, which stops your other OSA-caused health problems and reduces your risk for chronic problems in the future.

 

Dental devices can also be made for sleep problems such as clenching and grinding the teeth. Both of these habits can lead to tooth weakening, erosion, breaks or fractures. It can also lead to facial pain and the headaches that people get so frequently. All of these problems can be fixed with the right dental device!

 

A sleep apnea dental device and brush to clean it.

Combat Your Sleep Apnea Today

If you have already been diagnosed with sleep apnea, make sure you invest in a dental appliance right away! This can help you finally achieve that much-needed rest you have been craving. If you are unsure that you have sleep apnea, you can either come in and be fitted for a device or you can see a doctor and get diagnosed first. When you’re unsure of the problem that is plaguing you, but you know that there is one, a dental exam can always help figure out what that problem is.

 

When you clench and grind your teeth at night, it leaves noticeable wear and tear on the teeth. In our patients that do this, we can spot the signs right away and make a mouthguard that will protect against that wear and tear. These guards are usually very small and custom-made to be snug against the teeth. Unlike store-bought guards, custom-made guards are not bulky, but are strong enough to withstand the pressure of your teeth.

 

Headaches, facial and jaw pain and sleep problems can all go away with the right guard. You will also see tooth cracks and breaks diminish as well as problems with weak teeth. Whether your problem is sleep apnea or another dental-related issue, call Dr. Ania’s office today at (303) 872-9940 to have your custom mouth guard made!

 

AUTHOR

Dr. Ania Mohelicki

All stories by: Dr. Ania Mohelicki