Sleep apnea seen by a dentist

Sleep apnea seen by a dentist

Did you know that approximately 5% of the population suffers from sleep apnea, and it is estimated that approximately 90% of cases go undiagnosed and therefore untreated? If you suspect or know you have sleep apnea, your dentist may be a health professional to consult in addition to your doctor. Surprised? Let us explain it to you.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep breathing disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep, also called apnea. During apnea, the person stops breathing temporarily, or breathes very superficially. Apneas can occur due to a blockage in the airways that prevents air from passing through, a lack of signal to the breathing muscles, or both at the same time.

What are the consequences of sleep apnea?

The consequences of sleep apnea are numerous. After all, sleep is essential for human beings and depriving yourself of restful sleep every night has serious consequences in the lives of those who suffer from it

Medically, it increases the odds of suffering from depression, high blood pressure, stroke, cardiovascular disease, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and diabetes.

People with sleep apnea are also more likely to have road accidents and be less efficient at work.

What is the role of the dentist in the treatment of sleep apnea?

First of all, the dentist is a front-line health professional who frequently interacts with his patients. Its role is therefore to detect sleep apnea since it is able to recognize its characteristics and certain conditions that predispose to the disease.

The dentist can also help in the prevention of secondary diseases arising from sleep apnea.

The dentist may also be called upon to intervene directly in the treatment of sleep apnea, under medical recommendation. In order to treat sleep apnea, a mandibular advancement orthosis is often proposed, which is used to keep the airway clear.

Finally, the dentist is in a privileged position to monitor the treatment with the patient. It is certain that a regular dental follow-up must be done following the installation of the orthosis in order to check if everything is in conformity and if the adjustment is good. In addition, it is necessary to ensure the good maintenance of general dental health (teeth, gums, temporomandibular joint, etc.).

What to do if you think you have sleep apnea

If you think you have sleep apnea, make an appointment with your dentist. He will be able to assess your condition based on your health history and your joints. He will be able to observe if the cause is indeed at the level of your temporomandibular joint or if other factors may be involved. Depending on your situation, your dentist can then direct you to the next steps to follow in order to treat your sleep apnea.

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