The Connection Between Dentistry & Sleep
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that restricts the amount of oxygen breathed during the night. While a qualified physician must conduct a diagnosis, dentists are more likely to notice symptoms and recommend sleep studies. This is partially due to the frequency of dental visits versus doctor visits.
Dentists play an integral part in treating given their knowledge of the airway, head, and neck. Furthermore, only a dentist can provide alternative treatments like oral appliances and orthodontics treatments to treat your sleep apnea symptoms.
Thanks to her participation in advanced dental sleep medicine courses, Dr. Garceau is uniquely trained in screening for and treating sleep apnea.
What’s Sleep Apnea?
Even though it’s hard to identify, sleep apnea remains one of the most common breathing disorders among Americans, affecting some 22 million adults each year.
This sleep disorder is caused when airflow is blocked while the patient sleeps. During an episode, the patient stops breathing for several seconds at a time until their brain sends the signal to restart breathing by subconsciously waking the patient.
As a result, patients never get a full night’s sleep, leading to an array of negative symptoms and health consequences.
Risk Factors for Developing OSA
While anyone can develop obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), there are some factors that may put you more at risk.
Excess weight significantly increases your risk of developing sleep apnea because it puts additional pressure on your neck. Being overweight may also lead to health conditions that can cause sleep apnea, such as hypothyroidism.
A narrow airway, high blood pressure, smoking, and diabetes are all risk factors for developing sleep apnea. If you fall into these categories and notice the symptoms of sleep apnea, Dr. Garceau recommends undergoing a sleep test to diagnose any issues.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There isn’t just one type of sleep apnea— there are three. Knowing the distinctions between them can help you get the correct diagnosis and treatment. Though they’re all called sleep apnea, their treatment methods differ greatly.
The three types of sleep apnea are Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), Central Sleep Apnea (CSA), and Complex Sleep Apnea, also called Mixed Sleep Apnea. All types of sleep apnea cause breathing to stop during sleep, but their causes are different.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea doesn’t just affect your ability to get a good night’s rest. Without treatment, the breathing condition can worsen existing health conditions like obesity, heart disease, and more. In children, sleep apnea can increase daytime drowsiness and have a negative impact on their educational performance.
The first step toward treating sleep apnea begins with a monitored sleep study. Dr. Garceau works with local sleep doctors to coordinate your sleep test. Once a diagnosis has been made, we’ll cover your treatment options. This includes CPAP therapy, oral appliances, or both.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the most common type of sleep apnea?
What are the dangers of not treating sleep apnea?
Think You Have Sleep Apnea? Call Our Windsor Dentist Today
Whether you’re experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea or have already been diagnosed with the disorder, finding the right care for your condition is crucial. Contact our office at (860) 254-6189 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Roberta Garceau today to learn about sleep apnea treatment in Windsor.