Did you know that your mouth can tell a story and possibly predict if you are at risk for Sleep Apnea? Your dentist, if properly trained, may be able to see the warning signs...
Some dental warning signs:
- Worn teeth
- Erosion from acid reflux
- Crowded teeth
- Crenation of the tongue (scalloped indentations on the sides of the tongue)
- A maxilla that is too far back in relation to your skull
- Undersized jaws
- Large tongue
- Excess growth of bone (clinically called "tori")
- Scooped out teeth structure along the gumline (clinically called "abfractions")
- Narrow / High vaulted palate
Sleep apnea is a common and serious sleeping disorder that happens when your regular breathing is interrupted during sleep. In more severe cases, a person with sleep apnea may stop breathing repeatedly throughout the night; this means the brain, and the rest of the body, may not get enough oxygen. The body needs good sleep to restore and renew cellular function.
Snoring is common among patients with sleep apnea but not all snorers have sleep apnea.
There are two main types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea. The more common form, it is the result of blocked airflow during sleep, usually when the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses while you sleep. Health factors, such as obesity may contribute.
- Central sleep apnea. Results from a problem with how the brain signals the breathing muscles. The airway is not blocked, instead the brain fails to signal the muscles to breath. This type of sleep apnea can occur with conditions such as heart failure, brain tumors, brain infections, and stroke.
Sleep apnea can affect any one at any age, although men are more likely to develop the disorder. The risk is also greater for those:
- over 40
- with large tonsils, large tongue or small jaw
- with a family history of sleep apnea
- with a nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies or sinus problems.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a number of health problems including:
- high blood pressure
- heart failure, irregular heartbeat and heart attack
- worsening of ADHD.
Sleep apnea can be treated. There are several options:
- Adjusting sleeping habits. This may mean simply not sleeping on your back
- Continuous positive air pressure (CPAP). This is a device which improves breathing while you sleep. The device supplies air through the nasal passages and the air pressure keeps the airway open while sleeping.
- Oral appliances. Certain oral devices can shift and support the jaw to prevent the airway from collapsing. Research shows that oral appliances can successfully prevent sleep apnea in some mild to moderate cases.
- Surgery. According to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, upper airway surgery may be recommended when other treatment options are unsuccessful in eliminating the symptoms of sleep apnea. Depending on the location and nature of the airway obstruction, the procedure may be minimally invasive or more complex. It may be necessary to remove the tonsils or other parts of the soft palate or throat.
If you think you have sleep apnea, make sure to speak with your physician or see Dr. Cameron for a dental examination and we can discuss the risk factors and discuss some of your options.
For more information, Dr. Cameron recommends Dr. Fellix Liao's book entitled "Early Sirens" that can be found on Amazon.
Early Sirens is the first book ever to offer critical health warning signs long before sleep apnea so you can take proactive steps to head of CPAP mask and sleep apnea’s many complications: heart attack, Alzheimer’s brain, acid reflux, chronic pain, fatigue, stroke, high blood pressure, and more.
In this sequel to his ground-breaking Six-Foot Tiger, Three-Foot Cage, Dr. Felix Liao has connected the dots of snoring, teeth grinding, jaw clicking, neck-shoulder-back pain, chronic fatigue, root-canals, and one medical and/or dental trouble after another, into a coherent WholeHealth explanation for sleep apnea — by linking poor sleep to choked airway to impaired mouth structures.
Treating these leading oral-facial indicators as “canary in the coal mine” warnings early on can help head off CPAP masks and sleep apnea’s other very costly medical and dental complications.
Rich with real-life cases and scientific evidence, Early Sirens also offers a proactive Holistic Mouth as a natural solution to stop and reverse Impaired Mouth’s dominos from falling toward sleep apnea. You will learn an Impaired Mouth is the anatomical cause of poor sleep, airway obstruction, and oxygen deficiency, and learn to recognize an Impaired Mouth with OneLook YouKnow™.
Optional based on word count requirement— You will also see Holistic Mouth CSI™ (chair side investigation) putting the WholeHealth paradigm to work to solve Impaired Mouth Syndrome. “Is this body getting what it needs to stay healthy? If not, what’s in the way?” Through this kind of Chair Side Investigation, Dr. Liao traces symptoms back to their root causes, just like Sherlock Holmes astutely picking up clues overlooked by others at the crime scene.
The earlier you attend to Dr. Liao’s early sirens, the sooner you will sleep well soon, feel great naturally, and keep your teeth, build natural health, stay young and age with much greater ease in the long run.