Did you know that the 18th of April was National Sleep Apnea awareness day?
At Curtis Couch sleep apnea is a common struggle for a lot of our patients and can result in complicated dental and general health issues
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common apnea disorder stemming from narrow airways and improper oral structure and it can lead to a myriad of other health disorders. If your spouse complains that you snore when you’re sleeping or if you wake up multiple times a night gasping for air you may have sleep apnea. This sleep condition affects more than 20 million adults and is a serious issue in both people young and adult. Sleep apnea can occur in anybody from newborn babies to full grown, elderly adults, and despite the misconception sleep apnea is not only limited to people that are overweight, anybody can suffer from sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Awareness Day
April has been a busy month for dental health and general health awareness. The 18th of April was the American Sleep Apnea Association’s sleep apnea awareness day and during this day there were some seminars and the general public was also invited to upload a video describing their perils with sleep apnea via twitter or the ‘Wake Up To Sleep’ website. There was also a twitter chat under the hashtag of #SleepApneaChat where various spearheads involved in sleep apnea education career spoke about the problems of sleep apnea and answered questions.
Risks of Sleep Apnea
There are three different types of Sleep Apnea:
• Obstructive Sleep Apnea
This occurs when your throat tissue relaxes during sleep. This tissue blocks your airway and causes your body to struggle for air and snore and gasp.
• Central Sleep Apnea
This occurs when the central nervous system doesn’t signal the brain to control and maintain normal breathing patterns. This is a dangerous form of sleep apnea and is all the more dangerous as the symptoms are minimal as snoring is not commonly associated with it.
• Complex Sleep Apnea
This disorder is a combination of both of the above and is also very dangerous.
Correct breathing during sleep and everyday life is very important as your brain and body needs oxygen to function at optimum health. Not having enough oxygen can damage your health and impede the correct development of your teeth and dental health.
Sleep Apnea and Dental Health: The Importance of Oral Posture
You may be wondering why Curtis Couch is concerned with sleep apnea, well Sleep Apnea can alter your oral posture in your sleep which can in turn alter the development of the teeth. As Sleep Apnea often causes people to sleep with their mouth open, the tongue then sits on the bottom palette of the mouth. This is incorrect posture as your upper teeth need your tongue as support to ensure that they don’t move and become crooked. We get lots of young and unaware adult patients coming in with crooked teeth due to incorrect oral posture. In the event of this we may recommend an assistant breathing or posture apparatus which is similar to a mouth guard. This full mouth cover will also have a tongue tab to ensure that your body gets in the habit of having the tongue in the correct position – which is the ‘n’ position.
If you are further concerned about your crooked teeth we also have a number of orthodontic treatments designed to straighten crooked teeth and give you your desired smile. Invisalign is the sure-fire way to create a perfect smile and is a wonderful treatment to the subtleness of the procedure. During your treatments you will undergo a series of clear mouth guards – these are molded to the teeth so that they are barely noticeable and are removable for special events.
If you would like to find out more about correct oral posture or invisalign please visit Curtis Couch in Thousand Oaks.
If you would like to book an appointment please don’t hesitate to contact us.