Snoring & Sleep Apnea Treatment in Whitby, ON
A Better Night’s Rest For a Better Life
Snoring and sleep apnea are common problems that can have a serious impact on your overall health and well-being. The severity of these conditions ranges from mild to severe and can cause a variety of issues such as daytime fatigue, difficulty staying asleep, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Our Whitby, ON dentists are trained to identify these disorders and treat them with custom oral appliance therapy. Keep reading to learn more about snoring and sleep apnea and how our Whitby dentists can help you live your best life with effective treatment options.
What Are Snoring and Sleep Apnea?
Snoring is a sound caused by the vibration of soft tissues in your mouth while you sleep. This vibration usually occurs when the airway narrows, forcing air through a more narrow passage. This causes the tissue to flutter and produces the sound we call snoring.
Sleep apnea is when your breathing patterns are repeatedly interrupted as you sleep. This forces your body awake, although you’re likely to not even notice. This process deprives you of oxygen and ensures you don’t get a good night’s rest. People with sleep apnea often snore loudly, but snoring in itself doesn’t always mean apneic episodes are occurring.
There are three kinds of sleep apnea: central, obstructive, and mixed/complex. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea and it occurs when the soft tissues in the oral cavity completely collapse. This blocks off the airways and repeatedly partially wakes you up.
Causes of Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Causes for both snoring and sleep apnea can vary, although much like the disorders themselves, they have a lot in common. Possible causes of snoring and sleep apnea include:
- Deviated septum
- High blood pressure
- Jaw misalignment
- Sleep position
- Alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
Symptoms of Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Snoring is often characterized by strange noises coming from a person while they sleep. Possible symptoms of snoring include:
- Quiet vibrations
- Loud rumbling
- Dry or sore throat in the morning
- Tossing and turning
- Daytime fatigue
Perhaps the most common symptom of sleep apnea is loud snoring, but that’s not the only sign. Other symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Gasping or choking at night
- Making quiet vibrations and whistles in your sleep
- Loud rumbling during sleep
- Dry or sore throat in the morning
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Tossing and turning
- Problems concentrating
- Frequent nighttime urination
If you feel like you’ve noticed any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should contact our Whitby dental office as soon as possible by dialing (905) 666-1555. We can help determine the problem, and the cause, and ensure you get the proper treatment to prevent the issue from worsening.
Consequences of Untreated Snoring and Sleep Apnea
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in regard to your health is ignoring signs of snoring and sleep apnea. When left untreated, snoring and sleep apnea can lead to or worsen serious health issues such as:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- High Blood Pressure
- Pregnancy Complications
- Heart disease
- Liver problems
- Sexual dysfunction
- Acid reflux
- Complications with medication and surgery
- Memory Loss
- Poor work performance
- Decreased cognitive function/Increased risk of an accident
Even if you only suffer from snoring and not sleep apnea, your partners and other members of your household might be suffering. Snoring can be loud enough to keep your bed partners awake. This can deprive them of the sleep they need, possibly leading to feelings of resentment as they have to consistently go about their days tired.
To get away from the noise, your partners may wear earphones, sleep in a separate bed, or even a separate room. They may decide to move out altogether if your snoring penetrates the walls, also called heroic snoring. Circumstances such as these make separation more likely.
For these reasons and many others, effective treatment for snoring and sleep apnea is vital. Fortunately, our Whitby dentists can treat these issues with an oral appliance.
Diagnosing Snoring and Sleep Apnea
To fully understand your condition, your local Whitby dentist will likely recommend you undergo a sleep study. Sleep studies are sessions where electronic equipment is used to monitor your vitals while you sleep. This includes eye and leg movement, heart rate, brain waves, and blood oxygen levels. A sleep specialist will analyze this data and provide an accurate diagnosis based on their findings. From there, our dentists can help alleviate symptoms of both snoring and sleep apnea with a custom-made oral appliance.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliances are the preferred method for most patients dealing with snoring and sleep apnea. While continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP may prove more powerful, most patients won’t continue treatment. That’s due to the many problems presented by these machines including:
- High cost
- Bulky equipment
- Uncomfortable masks
- Side effects like congestion, gas, and skin irritation
- Loud noises
- Limiting your sleep positions
Fortunately, oral appliance therapy sidesteps these issues. Oral appliances are devices that are similar to mouthguards. The appliance holds the lower jaw in a forward position to reduce the likelihood of soft tissues blocking the airway opening. This helps reduce if not eliminate the symptoms and health consequences of sleep apnea.
Your custom-made oral appliance will provide many benefits including:
- Easy Maintenance
Creating your oral appliance will be simple with our 3D printer. At Our Whitby dental office, we’ll take digital X-rays and images of your mouth and teeth. These will be fed into a computer and used as the basis for your custom-fit dental splint.
Because your dental appliance is created in-office, your Whitby dentists will have greater control over the final product. This allows them to utilize their knowledge of your unique dental profile to create an oral appliance that fits as comfortably as possible.
Freqeuntly Asked Questions
Snoring is a common sign of sleep apnea, but it doesn’t always mean you have that particular sleep disorder. It’s important to note that even non-apneic snoring can cause problems or be a sign of bigger issues. You should talk to your dentist or your primary care provider regardless to determine how to address your snoring and whether or not it’s a sign of sleep apnea.
Untreated sleep apnea can often lead to serious health issues, which can lower your quality of life and your life expectancy. Additionally, people who suffer from sleep apnea are often sleep deprived which makes them more accident-prone and risky to be around. That’s why it’s important to seek effective treatment for sleep apnea as soon as possible.
There tends to be disagreement in the medical world on whether or not sleep apnea can be completely cured. However, with the proper treatment and lifestyle changes, sleep apnea symptoms can almost always be brought under control if not eliminated entirely. Sleep apnea tends to be easier to control the earlier it’s caught, so if you believe you’re displaying symptoms, contact your dentist as soon as possible.
Professional treatment is often necessary because only a professional can understand the root cause and prescribe more individualized treatment. Steps you can take at home that may help you control your symptoms include the following:
- Talk to a doctor/nutritionist about healthy diet and exercise options
- Sleep on your side
- Ask your primary care provider if you can take decongestants
- Try throat exercises
- Replace your mattress if it’s over ten years old
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco products, especially before bed
- Avoid napping during the day
Your dentist might suggest methods such as these alongside oral appliance therapy to increase the effectiveness of your treatment.
Call Our Whitby Dentists For Snoring & Sleep Apnea Treatment
Regardless of their severity, snoring and sleep apnea should always be taken seriously. At Dentistry on Dundas, our dentists will treat your symptoms with the attention and professionalism they require to be resolved. We provide treatment for snoring and sleep apnea to patients from Whitby and surrounding areas such as Oshawa, Ajax, and Courtice, ON.
Are you in need of effective sleep apnea treatments and CPAP alternatives? Then contact Dentistry on Dundas by dialing (905) 666-1555. You can also fill out the contact form below and one of our friendly team members will get back to you shortly.