Sleep Apnea

The Greek word “apnea” literally means “without breath.” There are three types of apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed.

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54 Third Street
Collingwood, ON L9Y 1K3

What is sleep apnea?

The Greek word “apnea” literally means “without breath.” There are three types of apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed; of the three, obstructive is the most common. Despite the difference in the root cause of each type, in all three, people with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer.

Kinds of sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep. In central sleep apnea, the airway is not blocked but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe. Mixed apnea, as the name implies, is a combination of the two. With each apnea event, the brain briefly arouses people with sleep apnea in order for them to resume breathing, but consequently sleep is extremely fragmented and of poor quality. This can eventually lead to major medical issues and eventually death.

What causes snoring?

Snoring occurs because there is a disruption of airflow. The usual cause for the disruption is your tongue falling back into your throat and partially blocking the air. When you sleep, muscles in the back of the throat and mouth expand and relax during breathing, causing your airway to narrow. This is what causes the gurgling noises. If left untreated over time, the condition gets worse. Your throat can become completely closed off so no air goes through to your lungs. This is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when you fail to breathe for 10 seconds or more during sleep

Snoring can be the result of:

  • Sleep apnea and breathing interruption during sleep
  • A dry/irritated airway caused by an arid climate, heating systems, and/or smoking
  • Swollen nasal tissues
  • Muscles that become too relaxed after the use of medications or alcohol
  • Dryness of the throat caused by excessive use of mouthwashes, syrups, or beverages with high levels of alcohol.

Individuals who suffer from diabetes and other health conditions are more likely to be affected by obstructive sleep apnea. The condition is also more likely to develop as people age, and also in those who smoke and those who have gained weight.

Sleep quality control

Dr. Salyani is part of a collaborative team consisting of sleep physicians, sleep techs, sleep centers, ENT physicians and pulmonologists who all combine their expertise where needed to maximally manage obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. The use of medically approved oral appliances often are critical to the best control of sleep apnea. The oral appliances can be used, at times, when CPAP or other positive pressure devices are not tolerated well by the patient. Oral appliances also can be used when it is inconvenient to travel with a CPAP. We see patients who have not been diagnosed for sleep apnea, and we can coordinate appropriate diagnosis with qualified physicians. We also see patients who are referred by sleep doctors for the specific creation of a custom fitted oral sleep appliance. Additionally, we see patients who are not able to use their CPAP and, essentially, are going untreated. Dr. Salyani believes in co-therapy whereby the use of a properly titrated oral appliance can be used in conjunction with a much-reduced pressure setting for CPAP, making it tolerable for patients once again.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep apnea can cause snoring and pauses during breathing while you sleep. This condition can lead to severe changes in your sleeping habits, in addition to serious overall health problems and difficulties in your relationships with others. Collingwood Laser Dentistry offers a range of effective treatment options to lessen the harmful effects of snoring and sleep apnea and help you get a better, healthier night’s sleep.
Please contact our practice for more information on snoring and sleep apnea treatment in Collingwood and the Georgian Triangle Area Causes of Snoring and Sleep Apnea When you sleep, muscles in the throat and mouth expand and relax, causing your airway to narrow. If the airway becomes so narrow that you miss breaths, you likely have sleep apnea.
These missed breaths can last as long as 10 seconds or more. Snoring is just one of the symptoms of sleep apnea. When you snore, air is passing through the narrowed airway and causing vibration among the soft tissues at the back of the throat. This ultimately results in a struggle to breathe – and the harder the struggle, the louder the snoring becomes.

Snoring can be the result of:

  • Sleep apnea and breathing interruption during sleep
  • A dry/irritated airway caused by an arid climate, heating systems, and/or smoking
  • Swollen nasal tissues
  • Muscles that become too relaxed after the use of medications or alcohol
  • Dryness of the throat caused by excessive use of mouthwashes, syrups, or beverages with high levels of alcohol.

Individuals who suffer from diabetes and other health conditions are more likely to be affected by obstructive sleep apnea. The condition is also more likely to develop as people age, and also in those who smoke and those who have gained weight.

What Dangers does Sleep Apnea Pose to My Overall Health?

Sleep apnea interrupts the body’s ability to repair itself during sleep, and can ultimately lead to the development of other health problems, including:

  • Increased risk of sudden cardiac death during sleep
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Increased risk of cardiac failure, heart attack, stroke, and other life-threatening health conditions
  • Mental impairment of cognitive functions such as memory and complex, rational thought
  • Anxiety, depression, stress, and mood swings
  • High blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity
  • Less motor control
  • Less alertness
  • Increased risk of erectile dysfunction

Snoring is something we often make fun of in our society. But it isn’t funny to the person trying to sleep next you. And what it’s doing to your body at night is not funny either. This is because it may be killing you, just slowly. Snoring occurs because there is a disruption of airflow going into your lungs. The usual cause for the disruption is your tongue falling back into your throat and partially blocking the air. This causes the gurgling noises. Over time the condition gets worse. Your throat can become completely closed off so no air goes through to your lungs.

This is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when you fail to breathe for 10 seconds or more during sleep. The wonderful aspect of the human body is its ability to correct itself. If you can get a goodnight sleep many of the symptoms of sleep apnea will begin to get better and some may even return to normal over time. The earlier you have it treated the better your life will be!

If you or someone you know may be a candidate for this alternative treatment, have them contact our office for an evaluation.

Why is sleep apnea so dangerous?

Dr. Salyani believes obstructive sleep apnea is one the most serious disorders affecting upwards of 100 million North Americans. This disease is often accompanied by problems with snoring, however it is possible to have serious apnea without snoring at all. Snoring once was thought of as a nuisance problem, but now over the last 10-15 years the medical establishment recognizes that snoring is not a harmless issue. The reduction of oxygen to the body that accompanies sleep disordered breathing disrupts many vital body functions, most notably is a root cause for hypertension (high blood pressure); independent risk for stroke; independent risk for adult onset diabetes; accelerates obesity problems; independent risk for impotence; can cause TMJ and headaches; can increase memory problems. Many other diseases are adversely affected by untreated sleep apnea.

What age groups and who is affected by sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is very common, as common as adult diabetes, according to the National Institutes of Health. Risk factors include being male, overweight, and over the age of forty. However, sleep apnea can strike anyone at any age, even children. Yet still because of the lack of awareness by the public and healthcare professionals, the vast majority of Sufferers remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated, despite the fact that this serious disorder can have significant, and deadly consequences.

How do dentists treat sleep apnea?

The use of medically-approved oral appliances often are critical to the best control of sleep apnea. The oral appliances can be used, at times, when CPAP or other positive pressure devices are not tolerated well by the patient. Did you know that over 60% of patients don’t use their CPAP machine? Oral appliances also can be used when it is inconvenient to travel with a CPAP. We see patients who have not been diagnosed for sleep apnea, and we can coordinate appropriate diagnosis with qualified physicians. We also see patients who are referred by sleep doctors for the specific creation of a custom fitted oral sleep appliance. Additionally, we see patients who are not able to use their CPAP and, essentially, are going untreated. Dr. Salyani believes in co-therapy whereby the use of a properly titrated oral appliance can be used in conjunction with a much-reduced pressure setting for CPAP, making it tolerable for patients once again.

Can an oral appliance really help?

If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or snore, an oral appliance should benefit you. It will almost certainly put an end to your snoring and will most likely eliminate or significantly reduce your OSA. For your bed partner this means peace and quiet again and a better night’s sleep. For you, it will mean better quality sleep. As a result, you will be less likely to suffer from headaches and daytime sleepiness and your ability to concentrate will improve.

If you have tried CPAP and found it uncomfortable, wake up to a brilliant alternative treatment for OSA. The difference in comfort and tolerance will astound you.

A study conducted by Dr Edmund Rose at the University of Freilberg 2004 proposed that the ideal patient for Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) is one with an AHI < 25 and BMI < 30 with good dentition. Therefore, when identifying how effective the OAT device is going to be for you, we recommend looking at 3 key areas:

Severity of OSA.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends the use of oral devices for mild-to-moderate OSA (AHI < 25), or for patients with severe OSA who are either unable to tolerate CPAP or refuse treatment with CPAP.

Body Mass Index.

If BMI is below 30 (which means that a person is not obese) the probability that the device will work is higher.

Dentition

Oral Appliance Therapy defines good dentition as at least 6 teeth on the lower mandible with no periodontal disease.

These three indicators offer a good guide to screening patients for oral device therapy and may increase the efficacy outcome of the treatment.

How do I find out if oral appliance therapy (oat) can help me?

A thorough intake consultation, clinical exam and history review will determine the likelihood of sleep apnea. Dr. Salyani may administer an “ambulatory” or take home sleep study to gather important data to further understand the scope and severity of the sleep disturbance. At this point, if a prior PSG (polysomnograph) administered by a certified sleep center and interpreted by a sleep physician has been completed, then Dr. Salyani can commence fabrication of an oral sleep appliance.

Alternatively, if no PSG has been completed, Dr. Salyani will require referral to a sleep center for completion of a PSG and physician interpretation before oral appliance therapy begins. It is critical to carefully and thoroughly manage this deadly disease with a team approach.

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Collingwood Dentistry - (705) 293 7700
K27 Dental - (905) 303 1231

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