Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes repetitive pauses in breathing during sleep. These breathing pauses, or “apneas”, last around 10 to 30 seconds and can occur several times during the night. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This type of apnea is caused by excessive relaxation of the tongue and throat muscles during sleep, obstructing the passage of air and creating moments of respiratory arrest. The most common signs of this disorder are sudden awakening during sleep, chronic snoring, fatigue during the day, difficulty paying attention and morning headaches. Sleep apnea is a condition that needs to be treated by a doctor, but your dentist can also play a role in diagnosis and treatment.

Mandibular advancement device

To improve airflow during sleep, one of the options your dentist can suggest is the use of a mandibular advancement device. As the name suggests, this oral device advances the lower jaw, or mandible, as well as the tongue. This clears the airway for better airflow when you sleep. These devices are mainly indicated for mild to moderate apnea. They can be custom-made by your dentist from models of your teeth. Consult your dentist to find out if you could benefit from a mandibular advancement device and relieve your sleep apnea more quickly and effectively.

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