If you’re dealing with obstructive sleep apnea and want to find a better way to get a good night’s sleep without your CPAP machine, Dr. Beata A. Carlson and her associates can help. During a sleep apnea consultation at our Clearwater, FL, we can fit you for a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) to open your airway without all the noise and discomfort of a CPAP.
Causes and effects of obstructive sleep apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that causes people to stop breathing while they sleep periodically. Cases can range from mild to severe, resulting in as many as 30 apnea events per hour. Patients who suffer from OSA may not realize it for many years. The interruptions to sleep they experience cause drastic results to their health, including hypertension, fatigue, headaches, anxiety, and depression.
The dangers of incorrect breathing and the life-long impact it can have on your Child's life.
Your child and sleep disordered breathing
What’s wrong with Michael? Michael has anxiety in school and is aggressive to other students. He gets into trouble quite often, but Michael is not alone!
9 out of 10 kids in America are experiencing one or more of these behavioral, physical or psychological problems every day. They seem to be totally random with nothing in common; however research over the past 20 years has linked each of these problems to a common cause. Children’s sleep-related breathing disorder; commonly called SDB, reduces the amount of oxygen that a child’s brain and body receives during sleep. They don’t get the kind of restorative sleep that a growing child needs.
There are 2 kinds of children’s sleep related breathing disorders. Type 1 SDB involves the airway and the child’s throat, and Type 2 SDB involves the airways in the child’s nose. Blockage of the airway in the child’s throat results from the tongue and lower jaw not getting enough of a workout in the first 5 years of the child’s development. Many parents wean their child onto soft and pureed baby foods; however mushy baby foods don’t require the child to chew. That tricks the child’s developing lower jaw and tongue into thinking they are not needed. The jaw and tongue don’t grow and may in fact shrink while the rest of the head continues to grow normally.
The face takes on a distinctive receding chin look as the lower jaw and the tongue don’t keep up with the growth of the rest of the face. This is an x-ray of an 8 year old boy with type 1 sleep disordered breathing. Notice how the tongue and jaw are constricting the airway because the lower jaw did not grow forward enough to keep the airway of the throat open.
Now let’s discuss type 2 SDB, the blockage of the child’s nasal airway. The child’s cheeks and lips are powerful muscles and they are constantly contracting and squeezing. That continual pressure can squeeze the upper jaw together and force the roof of the mouth upward if the tongue is living in the roof of the mouth, it counteracts this relentless force by pushing outward.
However if the child is a mouth breather – the tongue is not doing that job. What is a mouth breather? In these photos you can see that these sleeping children are breathing through their mouths as they try to compensate for the diminished airflow through their noses. Notice that their tongues are lying on the floor of their mouths?
How does a child become a mouth breather? It often happens when a child gets a sinus infection that lasts for a while. Their stuffed up nose causes them to breathe through their mouths while sleeping. They get a bottle when they awaken and after they are done with the bottle, they get a pacifier to suck on. Why is this a problem? In this illustration the red circle represents a bottle nipple or a pacifier. As the child sucks the tongue pushes the object into the roof of the mouth. The roof of the mouth is then forced up into the nasal airways making them smaller and smaller over time. Additionally the act of sucking pulls the cheeks and lips inward, which squeezes the upper jaw together making incoming teeth fight for precious space.
It was not until very recently that the connection between the reduced oxygen flow to the brain and body caused by children’s sleep disordered breathing was connected to all of the social, physical and behavioral problems affecting children today.
It turns out that baby food – bottle feeding and pacifiers are manufacturing kids with lifelong breathing problems. However I have good news! When treated early enough the damaging effect can be undone! A qualified sleep medicine professional can offer a treatment program which can not only stop but actually reverse the damage done to the child’s airway and to the child’s facial structure. If you suspect that your child has sleep disordered breathing call our office for an evaluation appointment. The sooner we start treatment, the sooner your child can start living a normal and happier life.
Issues with your airway cause OSA; as you sleep, your throat muscles relax, and your throat becomes obstructed. Your body will briefly wake up, and your airway will open again, though you usually won’t remember the next morning. The more events you go through each night, the lower your blood oxygen saturation drops, which dramatically affects your body. OSA is associated with excess weight, sleep aids, alcohol, smoking, and narrow airways.
The typical treatment for OSA is a CPAP machine, which uses compressed air at a fixed pressure to force your airway open when you are asleep. However, many patients and their partners find it difficult to sleep with the noise from the CPAP machine, and the mask makes it harder to get comfortable when as you toss and turn in the night.
Using a MAD for sleep apnea
Dr. Beata A. Carlson and Associates offer patients an alternative to a CPAP machine that fits snuggly in your mouth and doesn’t require electricity to work. A MAD is an oral appliance similar to a sports guard that works by pushing your lower jaw forward and keeping your tongue pressed against the top of the mouth the way it should be. This will help keep your airway open and prevent your airway from collapsing at night.
While the MAD itself doesn’t necessarily prevent all sleep apnea episodes, it can help strengthen the muscles that hold your jaw and throat in place. After a few nights, patients usually notice a dramatic difference in how they feel each morning. Combined with other interventions, such as weight loss and smoking cessation, you’ll be able to achieve more profound, more restful sleep. Dr. Beata A. Carlson and Associates can improve your oral health issues that contribute to your sleep apnea in many cases.
All you need to know about sleep apnea - Natural and Cosmetic Dentistry
What is sleep apnea?
The tissues of the throat affect your breathing and sleeping patterns, and your brain and body are impacted. Sleep apnea is a medical condition in which the upper airway becomes blocked during sleep.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form. In this form, a blockage often develops when the soft tissue collapses while the patient is sleeping.
It causes disrupted or uncomfortable sleep. With the airway blocked, there are pauses or breaks in breathing. Sleep apnea is more commonly found in adults, but it can affect patients of all ages.
What are the effects of sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea affects the whole body. Left untreated the condition increases the likelihood of health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
Patients with sleep apnea may experience:
- Problems concentrating
- Memory problems
- Tiredness throughout the day
- Dry mouth in the morning
- Feeling moody or depressed
What are the solutions available for sleep apnea?
Some patients may be candidates for oral appliances. Mouthguards can effectively treat sleep apnea and other oral issues by keeping the jaw in the proper position and the airway open.
We offer consultations to help address sleep apnea in both kids and adults. The appliance we recommend is Myobrace®, which is a mouthguard to establish nasal breathing and habit correction.
How your oral health affects your airway
Proper oral resting posture is crucial to maintaining an open airway. However, when your teeth don’t fit together correctly, or your jaw is out of alignment, it can shrink your airway and make it harder to breathe at night when you’re lying down in bed. While some people may have dental crowding or malocclusion from their teeth and jaw developed, other people may create issues caused by tooth decay or gum disease.
Dr. Beata A. Carlson and her associates can treat these issues by providing realistic, mercury-free restorations to help your teeth rest together the way they were meant to be. She may also recommend orthodontics to address jaw alignment issues and straighten crooked teeth to open up your airway and decrease your risk of developing snoring or sleep apnea. Dr. Beata A. Carlson and her associates can work with you to improve your resting oral posture by recommending changes in your diet and suggest exercises to help you retain your jaw and tongue’s optimal position.
Natural and Cosmetic Dentistry for a healthier smile and body
Sleep apnea is a complex issue that can have life-threatening consequences if left untreated. Dr. Beata A. Carlson and Associates can work with you and your doctor to find the right combination of interventions to improve your condition and help you restore your health.
Their focus on holistic dentistry means she considers the health of your whole body when addressing dental concerns. The treatments and lifestyle changes that improve your oral health may also decrease your risk for other issues linked to poor oral health, such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Contact Natural and Cosmetic Dentistry in Clearwater, FL today at 727-888-6523 to schedule a consultation for sleep apnea service.