What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing (and snoring) stop, sometimes hundreds of times a night, causing the sleeper to wake up suddenly. Sleep apnea affects millions of people worldwide yet according to current estimates, only 5% of cases are diagnosed and treated.
Sleep apnea itself requires treatment supervised by a doctor or sleep clinic. Dental interventions are not for the treatment of sleep apnea, but there are therapies that can help relieve some of the breathing problems that contribute to sleep apnea.
A Night Guard can help sleep apnea
Some problems with breathing and snoring at night can be relieved with a night guard. A night guard is an appliance that keeps your teeth and jaws in an ideal position. Some people will use the term “occlusal guard” when discussing sleep apnea, but night guard is the preferred wording.
The benefits of using a Night Guard to treat sleep apnea
- Improved breathing
- Prevention of tooth grinding
- Prevention of jaw clenching
- Decrease in pain and tension in the face and jaw
- Alleviation of headaches and migraines
If your dental system – teeth, joints, muscles and bite – is not positioned for optimal chewing and speaking, you may also experience breathing problems. These breathing problems may cause snoring and be symptomatic of sleep apnea. Dr.’s Chan and Segulyev can make adjustments to your dental system that can improve your nighttime breathing.