Sleep apnea is a common disorder in the USA. The issue affects over 18 million adults and children at any given time. Sleep apnea affects a person’s breathing during sleep cycles and ranges from disruptive to dangerous. In this post, we’ll take you through how orthodontic treatment can cure sleep apnea. Let’s get going.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea, also spelled sleep apnoea, is classed as a sleep disorder. Pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep occur. It is considered a disorder as this occurs more often than normal.
Each pause can last for a few seconds or a few minutes. And many times, per night. Commonly this follows a loud snoring episode. It affects both the sufferer and the people close to them. Usually, the partner sleeping in the same bed.
What are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Snoring. Although we have all done it and most won’t admit to it. Snoring is very common but it does not mean you have sleep apnea or any type of sleep disorder. It is a quite common disorder. It is important to note, that no fatalities have ever been linked directly to this disorder. The main underlying health issues with sleep apnea are side effects. Side effects like
- Heart attacks or heart failure
- High blood pressure
When it comes to heart issues, it is often, those with pre-existing conditions will find the disorder more troublesome.
Tiredness is the main side effect of this disorder. It is apparent even when the person suffering the disorder gets what is considered adequate sleep. The quality of sleep is severely reduced given the repeated interruptions resulting in insufficient rest. What is most salient here is the partner or loved one will also suffer insomnia type effects.
Different Types of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- This is the most common form of the disorder. This type occurs when muscles in the back of the throat relax too much. Supporting the tonsils, tongue, soft palate, and throat sides. When the muscles are too relaxed, the airway narrows making breathing hard.
- This narrowing tells the brain to use the nose, it is this transition that affects the sleep pattern. This event can happen multiple times per hour.
Central Sleep Apnea
- This is a less common form of the disorder. The brain will fail to translate the orders to the muscles and breathing stops. The result of this is a lack of effort to breathe. This is for a small amount of time only and is less scary than it sounds.
Complex Sleep Apnea
- This is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
Orthodontic Issues That Cause Sleep Disorders
It’s not just muscling issues that cause these sleep disorders. Orthodontic issues can play a huge part too. It may be an orthodontic problem like tooth misalignment, jaw misalignment, or another more defined issue. You can fix sleep apnea when it is a jaw or oral matter by consulting an orthodontist. This expert will then fit you with a device most suitable for the individual and the exact issue.
Traditional braces or clear aligners will be most suitable for those with minor to moderate malocclusions. These devices will slowly and gently move the teeth into alignment. Traditional braces will pull teeth with wires and bands.
Aligners will push teeth using a set of plastic trays that are gradually smaller. Brands like Invisalign are popular with teens and adults alike. These methods are for sleep apnea as well as other oral health issues.
A rapid palate expander may be used to treat obstructive sleep disorder issues in children. Fixed to the upper molars by cemented bands or bonding and bridges the upper jaw widening the space in the upper jaw.
A mandibular advancement splint is a custom-fit brace worn during sleep. This means the movement of the lower jaw in a forward and downward direction. A widening of the airway occurs stopping obstructive symptoms.
Remember, orthodontic treatment will give you respite from sleep disorders once treatment is in motion and completed, not to mention a boost of confidence. You’ll also be able to have better oral hygiene and avoid problems like TMJ disorders. Dr. Gluck is here for you to bring out the best in your smile. Make your appointment today with Dr. Jonathan Gluck.
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2002 Richard Jones Road
Nashville, TN 37215
Dr. Joel Gluck has practiced orthodontics since 1983 when he opened his own office in Nashville. He earned his undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis, and his dental degree at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Gluck then completed an orthodontic specialty residency at the University of Michigan, one of the top five orthodontic training residencies in the country. He also wrote an original thesis and received a Master of Science degree.