Sleep apnea and TMJ treatments in Ottawa, ON
Sleep Apnea Therapy in Ottawa
Do you snore or have a partner who keeps you awake with their snoring? Did you know that snoring usually points to a breathing obstruction? It can either be a simple matter of having a narrow airway that produces sound when you’re asleep, or it can point to a more serious problem like Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Either way, if you or a loved one is a chronic snorer, it’s wise to get a professional evaluation – you’re better off being safe than sorry! At our office, we offer safe and effective sleep apnea therapy so you can get the quality rest you need.
When Snoring Becomes A Problem
Snoring is very common in adults – studies have shown that up to 50% of adults snore. While this can result from an airway blockage, snoring can be triggered by different factors such as alcohol use, medications that relax the surrounding muscles, or weight gain – all of which can also amplify an existing problem. When snoring is infrequent and minor, it’s usually nothing to worry about. But if you or your partner’s snoring tends to be loud with frequent, intense bursts throughout the night, they could very well be showing a symptom of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
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What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a breathing disorder that can have serious consequences. It occurs when relaxed muscles cause tissue in the back of the throat, nose, and mouth to block the airways, which can prevent breathing for up to 10 seconds or more.
The brain reacts to the interrupted flow of oxygen by jolting the body awake and interrupting your sleep to allow you to breathe. Over the course of the night, these interruptions can be near-constant, inevitably preventing a person from reaching the deep levels of REM sleep that are so important for proper functioning and rejuvenation. This can also contribute to other serious conditions over time including mood disorders, diabetes, and more.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Since many patients who suffer from sleep apnea are unaware of their condition, the first symptoms are usually recognized by their bed partners. The most common symptoms of OSA include:
- Fatigue or sleepiness in the daytime
- Waking up frequently in the night
- Waking up gasping for air
- Sore throat or dry mouth upon waking
- Cognitive impairment: trouble concentrating, irritability, or forgetfulness
- Mood disorders such as anxiety or depression
- Night sweats
- Frequent nighttime urination
- Sexual dysfunction
If you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea, the first step is to take a sleep test for a proper diagnosis. A sleep study, or test, is typically conducted in an overnight sleep lab by a specialist who monitors your sleeping patterns. For your convenience, Dr. Dahan offers at-home sleep tests to complete from the comfort of your home.
Undergoing a sleep study is necessary to receive a clear and accurate diagnosis of your condition, allowing our team to provide you with the best possible care. Once you have a diagnosis, Dr. Dahan can help determine the most effective solution for treating your sleep apnea.
Traditional treatment for sleep apnea utilizes a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. These machines deliver oxygen to the patient via a mask and tube. However, close to 50% of people cannot tolerate the CPAP because they find it uncomfortable, bulky, and noisy. Luckily, there’s an alternative treatment that works for most patients: Oral Appliance Therapy.
Oral appliances for sleep apnea, sometimes known as snoring guards or snoring oral devices, are often applied as an alternative to expensive and complicated oral surgeries. If an individual is overweight, such appliances are often recommended in conjunction with weight loss. When inserted into the mouth and fitted over teeth, their innovative form factor reduces airway turbulence, eliminating instances of snoring.
Oral appliance therapy is usually most effective for patients suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnea.
Oral Appliance Therapy utilizes a dental appliance or retainer that repositions the jaw slightly forward, helping the airway remain open while sleeping. Since this appliance is customized for each patient, they are a much more comfortable alternative to the CPAP machine.
As well, the appliance gently repositions the jaw into its proper resting place, so there is no risk of creating discomfort or TMJ pain while you wear it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is sleep apnea hereditary?
If your parents suffer from sleep apnea, you’re 50 percent more likely to develop a sleep disorder. Sleep apnea can be caused by a variety of factors, such as a narrowed airway, genetics, excess weight, nasal congestion, and smoking. Fortunately, Dr. Dahan offers several sleep apnea treatments to relieve symptoms and help you get a good night’s rest.
Is sleep apnea life-threatening?
Untreated sleep apnea can lead to serious health consequences, such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes. That’s why it’s crucial to seek treatment immediately after receiving a sleep apnea diagnosis. Dr. Dahan offers several effective treatments to tackle your sleep apnea and help you sleep soundly at night.
Are there alternative ways to treat sleep apnea?
Making certain lifestyle changes can significantly help reduce sleep apnea symptoms when combined with CPAP use or oral appliance therapy. Natural remedies to help treat sleep apnea include losing weight, regular exercise, limiting alcohol consumption, avoiding tobacco use, and positional therapy.
Treat Your Sleep Apnea with Dr. Dahan
Our team at Ottawa TMJ & Sleep Apnea Clinic can help you get the good night’s rest you’ve been waiting for. Reach out to us to learn more about the services we offer and how our dentists can help you alleviate your snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. To learn about our treatment options, contact our Ottawa office at (613) 454-1854 or fill out our convenient contact form. Dr. Dahan will answer any questions or concerns you may have and help you find the best solution for your unique condition.