Millions of people suffer from a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea, which literally means a “cessation of breath.” If your airway becomes obstructed while you sleep, it causes you to stop breathing. When you stop breathing, your body responds as if you’re suffocating. This means your brain realizes your lungs aren’t receiving oxygen and arouses you from the deeper stages of sleep (where the majority of rest occurs) so that it can force your throat and upper airway muscles to resume your breathing like normal. Because you don’t usually fully wake up, many sufferers don’t even realize this is happening to them every night. Over time, this chronic condition can lead to bigger health issues (high blood pressure, strokes, heart disease, etc.) and even death if it’s left untreated.
Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
One effective method of treatment to prevent sleep apnea is through oral appliance therapy. Dr. Richard Styka practices dental sleep medicine in Toronto and is capable of fitting you with an oral appliance to help prevent your sleep apnea. First, you must be diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea by your physician. Once you have been diagnosed and have a consultation at our office, we will go over your oral appliance options designed to help prevent sleep apnea, which may include mandibular advancement devices, tongue-retaining devices and combination CPAP/dental sleep device therapy.
Mandibular advancement devices open your airway by moving your mandible (lower jaw) forward. Tongue-retaining devices hold your tongue in a forward position and may require more time to adjust and be worn comfortably. A combination dental sleep device that’s worn in conjunction with a CPAP machine usually attaches directly to your CPAP machine so that you can use the machine at a lower pressure setting for increased comfort.
Learn more about how oral appliance therapy can help with your obstructive sleep apnea in Toronto by paying a visit to the dental office of Dr. Richard Styka. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!