A diagnosis of sleep apnea may be a little scary, but the good news is that it’s a treatable condition. If you have a mild to moderate case, lifestyle modifications may resolve your problem. If your sleep apnea is more severe, then other treatments should be considered. The following are some treatment options for sleep apnea.
- Lose weight: Being overweight produces extra tissue in the back of the throat, which can block your airway while you sleep. Even a small amount of weight loss can open up your airway.
- Stop smoking: Smoking increases fluid retention and inflammation in the throat and airway.
- Avoid alcohol, sedatives, and sleeping pills, especially before bedtime: They cause all muscles to relax including throat muscles.
- Exercise your throat and tongue: Exercises can strengthen the muscles in the airway.
- Sleep on your side: Sleeping on your back works with gravity to make your soft tissues and tongue drop and obstruct your airway.
- Keep your head up: Raise the head of your bed by four to six inches, or use a foam wedge to elevate your body from the waist up.
- CPAP (Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure) Machine: If lifestyle changes don’t help, this is the usual treatment for moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. The CPAP device involves a facial mask attached to a machine that provides a constant stream of air to your breathing passages. The disadvantage is that some people find this uncomfortable.
- CPAP minus the mask: An alternative, more expensive form of CPAP called Provent involves a device that fits over the nostrils and is smaller and less intrusive than the traditional CPAP machine.
- Other breathing devices: These include BPAP (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure) and ASV (Adaptive Servo-Ventilation). BPAP automatically provides more air when you inhale and less when you exhale. Some BPAPs are programmed to automatically deliver a breath if one hasn’t been detected for a certain number of seconds. The ASV device stores information about the patient’s normal breathing pattern and automatically uses airflow pressure to prevent pauses in breathing.
Surgery should only be resorted to in the most severe cases and when nothing else has worked. Surgery may involve the removal of tonsils, adenoids, or excess tissue at the back of the throat or inside the nose, or even restructuring of the jaw.
A dentist can make an acrylic device to fit inside your mouth, similar to an athletic mouth guard. Another type fits around your head and chin to adjust the position of the lower jaw. Two common ones are MAD (Mandibular Advancement Device) and TRD (Tongue Retaining Device). These devices open the airway by bringing the lower jaw or tongue forward during sleep. We are a dental practice with a specialty in sleep apnea, so please contact us for more information.
Are you reluctant to smile because of your dingy or uneven teeth? Do you feel envious of your favorite celebrity with those beautiful looking white ones? The odds are that the star’s perfect smile is achieved because of veneers. With veneers, you can be smiling again in less than a month!
Several thin layers of a porcelain ceramic material or a resin composite make up a veneer. A minuscule amount of tooth enamel is removed to accommodate the veneer which is bonded to the natural tooth with a special resin.
Who Should Consider Veneers?
People with discolored or misshapen teeth, gaps between teeth or broken teeth, or minor bite-related problems.
Veneers are not “false” teeth. However, unlike natural teeth, they will not become stained by tea, coffee, or tobacco. Severely discolored teeth become bright again.
Downsides Are Minimal
The application of veneers is not a reversible procedure, although adjustments and even new veneers can be made. Immediately following the attachment of veneers, some sensitivity to hot and cold food and drink will most likely occur, but this usually goes away within a few days. Veneers are strong, but as with un-veneered teeth do not crack nuts or open beer bottles with your veneers!
If you would like to further investigate this procedure, you will need an evaluation by a dentist who has a specialty in veneers. The dentist will analyze your smile, and create a diagnostic mock-up for you to “try on” veneers and any other options that are suggested. This way you can actually see what your improved smile will look like before deciding to go ahead. Please contact us for more information.
You probably think that if you regularly sleep for seven or eight hours, you are getting a good night’s rest. So, what explains your habitual tiredness first thing in the morning, and why does it continue throughout the workday? Do you nod off at your desk or even during a conversation with a colleague, and doze during meetings? If so, then you may be afflicted with obstructive sleep apnea. If you are tired all of the time, read on to see how to fix it.
Sleep Apnea Explained
When a person is asleep, the throat muscles naturally relax. However if they overdo the relaxation they can interfere with breathing. Breathing actually stops for up to a minute or more, until the brain sends a signal for breathing to continue. This can occur numerous times during the night, starving the body of oxygen, and making it impossible to enjoy quality sleep. If the pause in breathing lasts for ten seconds or longer, this is known as obstructive sleep apnea.
How Can a Dentist Help?
A dentist can provide a device to be worn at night to help prevent sleep apnea. The most commonly prescribed appliance is the Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD). A MAD fits over the upper and lower dental arches, allowing the lower jaw to be eased forward and the muscles at the back of the throat to be less constricted. An alternative is the Tongue Retaining Device (TRD) which is used to hold the tongue in place and keep the airway open. These appliances are more comfortable alternatives to CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) devices where a sleep apnea sufferer is forced to sleep wearing a facial mask and hooked up to a machine.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, make a dental appointment and learn how your dentist can assist you to sleep better. Please contact us for more information.
Are You Tired All of the Time? How to Fix it By a Visit to Your Dentist! – 313 Words