Sleep apnea – symptoms, causes and treatment options in Edmonton, Alberta
General Dentist and Cosmetic Dental Services in Edmonton, Alberta
At Focus on Smiles, we treat many patients both young and old who suffer from sleep apnea.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder. It happens when the airway temporarily collapses during sleep. Sleep apnea causes a patient to stop breathing at various times during the night. The patient wakes up out of deep sleep to catch their breath, which interrupts the sleep cycle. Sleep apnea has been linked to diabetes and heart disease.
What causes sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea can affect men and women alike, but research shows that sleep apnea is about twice as prevalent in men as it is in women, although pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can have a variety of causes, including:
- Extra tissue in the back of the airway such as large tonsils
- Weak muscle tone in the back of the throat
- The tongue falling to the back of the throat during sleep, closing off the airway.
- Misalignment of the jaw
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
Many patients may be unaware that they have sleep apnea. Often times, a patient’s partner will notice that the patient is snoring or stops breathing at night. Other symptoms include:
- Daytime fatigue or drowsiness
- Headaches upon waking up in the morning
- Waking frequently during the night
- Waking up feeling short of breath
Treatments available at Focus on Smiles in Edmonton, Alberta
Dr. Christine Fialka-Eshenko has studied sleep apnea in depth. While dentists do not have the ability to diagnose sleep apnea, we can work with you and your medical team to find a solution. CPAP is the primary way to treat sleep apnea and has been proven to benefit those suffering from extreme cases of sleep apnea. We have found that oral appliances such as mandibular repositioning appliances are very effective at treating sleep apnea as well, and are less cumbersome and easier to use than a CPAP machine.
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, we may be able to help you. Please contact us to book an appointment.