Sleep Apnea

  • Suffering from sleep apnea?
  • Know someone who is?
  • Need information on the condition?
  • Need advice on treatment?
  • Need help with a diagnosis?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are in the right place. At Painfree Dentistry we can offer information on this sleep disorder, treatment options and more. We are here to help.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is common and affects millions of people. Most people are unaware they are suffering symptoms because this condition only occurs while you are sleeping. There are signs you should look out for when you are awake. These include: feeling sleepy in the daytime, headaches in the morning, feeling unrefreshed after sleep and needing the toilet in the night more frequently. While you are sleeping other people may notice loud snoring.

The cause of sleep apnea is when the tongue and soft palate collapse into the back of the throat. This happens while you sleep. When this happens, the upper airway is restricted which causes you brain to send signals of lack of oxygen to your body. These signals result in you gasping for breath, which forces the obstruction to clear so you can breathe again. In some cases, the process can repeat over and over during the night. In extreme cases people can lose breath for around forty seconds during an hour’s sleep.

Who Is at Risk of Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common condition. It can affect almost anyone however males who are very overweight and people aged 40 and over are the most at risk. It can be life threatening and anyone showing symptoms should seek advice.

What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

  • Snoring
  • Feeling tired, sleepy and/or irritated during the day
  • Depression
  • Morning headaches
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Waking up more than usual for the toilet or for a drink
  • Memory problems
  • Worn teeth
  • Reflux problems

Why is Sleep Apnea a Serious Condition?

The effects of sleep apnea can cause or has been linked to the following serious compilations:

  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Drowsiness – which can lead to accidents and more
  • Diabetes
  • Arrythmia
  • Heart Attack
  • Lung Hypertension
  • Memory Loss and Dementia
  • Headaches

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

As sleep apnea occurs while you are sleeping deeply you will need to have a sleep study test performed by a Sleep Physician. To have treatment with Painfree Dentistry you will need to have a professional study which can properly diagnose the condition. Sleep studies can be done in a hospital or at home. We can discuss concerns with you but you will need a confirmation of sleep apnea before we begin treatment.

Sleep Apnea Treatment Solutions

There are different treatment options available. We can discuss any of these with you and will work with you to find the perfect solution for you. Common treatments for sleep apnea can include:

SomnoDent® Devices – This is for mild and moderate cases. It is a dental device that you wear while sleeping. It will open your airway and stop the soft tissue collapsing during sleep. It stops snoring and the obstruction process from occurring.

Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure – This treatment is for more severe cases and involves using a device with a mask, tubes and a fan. The device enables air to pass through your airway without any obstruction. This is an effective treatment that is non-invasive. Some patients have been known to struggle to sleep with the mask however the new technology is light, comfortable and quiet.

Surgical Procedure – In very extreme cases sleep apnea can be treated with surgery. If this is something you need your dentist will discuss this in-depth with you.