If you are concerned about the quality of your sleep (or lack thereof), we don’t recommend searching “dentist near me”. That’s because many dentists have training in sleep apnea but only a select few are experts in this space. At Lotus Dental Wellness, we treat patients with sleep apnea in Edmonton. As a dentist in west Edmonton, our patient list extends beyond local residents. Some of our patients travel to see us for the first time when they, or their doctor, determine that sleep apnea should be investigated as a potential diagnosis.
If you or your spouse aren’t sleeping well at night, you can bet that the other partner is suffering along with you. Even if you’re not consciously aware of it, snoring and sleep apnea could be the cause of many symptoms that you feel throughout your day.
First, it should be understood that sleep apnea can be a serious health risk to patients who develop it. When we are not well rested, we are not alert, our moods aren’t stable and we just generally feel, well… yuck! Problems with sleep apnea can begin to ‘bleed’ into all areas of your life. It becomes extremely difficult to drag yourself out of bed in the morning and to be on time for your commitments – be it work, school, or other. You may find that throughout the day you feel exhausted despite thinking you’ve had enough sleep, and when challenges occur, you’re likely to have a hard time thinking through the brain fog – much less maintaining control of your emotions and behavior. Without snoring treatment in Edmonton, your relationship with your sleeping partner often deteriorates, since your snoring interrupts (or prevents) their sleep and often results in separate sleeping quarters. This is hard on relationships, to be sure, but even more important is what sleep apnea could be doing to your body while you’re ‘asleep’.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes a lack of oxygen and often extended periods without breathing while you sleep. There are two different ways that sleep apnea can present, the first being obstructive. Obstructive sleep apnea is often the culprit for extreme snorers. This occurs when loose tissue falls over the airway and blocks it. During the day, gravity keeps these tissues in place, but at night gravity has the opposite effect. Patients who have gained significant weight often develop obstructive apnea due to added pressure on the airway from fat deposits when the patient is asleep.
The other kind of sleep apnea is called central apnea, and this form of apnea results from a lack of impulse to inhale due to a communication breakdown between the nerves and the brain. Without this impulse, serious apnea sufferers can go for minutes without a breath before they gasp in distress. This constant cycle of sleeping and waking never allows your brain to enter REM sleep – the restorative sleep that our bodies need to heal and integrate our experiences, among many other things. If anything below 90% blood oxygen is dangerous, imagine what 10, 30 or 60 seconds between breaths could be doing to your overall health.
If you think you may have sleep apnea, you need a sleep apnea clinic in Edmonton to diagnose and treat your condition. Our clinic, also known as the Edmonton Snore Centre, offers snoring treatment in Edmonton. We won’t say that we have the best dentist in Edmonton – our patients tell us every day! Still, it’s important that you find the best dental clinic in Edmonton for you and your family. If you choose a general dentist or a family dentist in Edmonton, it is important to ask whether sleep studies are available at the clinic. At Lotus Dental Wellness, we can see patients exclusively regarding sleep disorders if you prefer to keep your current practitioner.
Diagnosis and Treatment
In order to diagnose sleep apnea, you will be asked to complete a sleep study in which you wear a device at home while you sleep or alternatively sleep in a clinical setting while being observed. With this diagnosis, they can move forward with a determination as to the cause. Palate expanding oral appliances are a common way to treat obstructive sleep apnea since it tightens the tissues (not allowing your tissues to block your airway). Alternatively, a Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machine can be used along with a mask or tube that provides continuous airflow into the airway to prevent any potential blockage. While it may take some time to get used to wearing a CPAP machine, it has a good rate of success with repeated use. A CPAP machine is more expensive than an appliance, but the benefits of a good night’s sleep far outweigh its cost.