Sleep Apnea & Snoring
Sleep apnea and snoring is technically a sleep and airway disorder, which leads many people to see specialists such as otolaryngologists, pulmonologists and neurologists. However, a highly qualified dentist or orthodontist could actually be very helpful.
Sleep apnea is the second-most common sleep disorder, second only to insomnia. The symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Loud snoring
- Frequent waking during the night
- Headaches and migraines
- Dry mouth and throat
- Teeth grinding and clenching
- GERD and other digestive problems
- Abnormally loud breathing
- Respiratory inadequacy when nose-breathing
- Mood swings, anxiety, depression and weight gain
Sleep apnea is caused by various factors, and the key contributors include genetics, cardiac problems and hypertension, and a history of strokes.
There are three types of sleep apnea:
- Central Sleep Apnea, which is caused by the brain delivering improper respiration signals to the body.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which is caused by lax jaw and throat muscles that block the airway.
- Complex Sleep Apnea, which is caused by both type one and twos.
In many patients, sleep apnea goes undiagnosed and untreated. Over time, the progression of the condition leads to increased fatigue and anxiety that leads to depression and the emergence of other physical and mental symptoms that are difficult for patients to articulate to their healthcare providers. After all, we don’t usually hear ourselves snore… Treatment hinges upon the secondary symptoms, rather than the root cause of the disorder: sleep apnea.
Dr. Arung and his team will be able to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea during a routine examination, since they are able to see the oral structures that indicate the condition, namely:
- Crenelated or crusted tongue
- Deviated septum
- Abnormally large neck circumference
- Soft, long palate that hangs below the tongue
- Shape of the mandibular and maxillary arches
- Mouth breathing and inability or avoidance to nose-breathe
Dr. Arung and Associates can provide you with custom oral appliances that help properly position the lower jaw in order to increase the airway. This is a helpful option for patients who are unable to tolerate traditional sleep apnea treatments, such as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).
Airway focused orthodontics restores functional nasal breathing and helps to prevent airway collapse during sleep.
Schedule an appointment with one of our Limelight Dental orthodontists today to deal with your chronic fatigue and sleep disorders.