Sleep Apnea Testing

Getting a good night sleep is so important to living our busy lives. Many of our patients suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) which can pose significant health risks if not treated. If you're unable to find your blissful sleep, come to 9th Avenue Dental to get screened and set up for an home sleep test (HST).

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Screening

If you feel you may suffer from a form of Sleep Apnea, you can receive your test screening for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) at 9th Avenue Dental. This medical condition, if untreated, can pose a significant health risk to patients such as a heart attack or stroke and can potentially decrease up to 15 years of lifespan, as it is known to pose day-to-day drains on energy levels while affecting a person’s mood. Addressing this ailment, our patients can see a positive influence to their well-being and have more reason to smile.

As dentists we often see the associated physical conditions such as wear on teeth through clenching and grinding and the affects to the tissue in the mouth that all link back to OSA. It is also a major issue in children that if left undiagnosed or untreated can have a significant impact on their facial growth and development. So we make sure to screen for it at our dental practice and can then administer an overnight sleep study. We work with sleep physicians to get a formal diagnosis and then proceed to discuss treatment.

Treatment Options

There are really only two treatment modalities to effectively treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea:

  1. CPAP, which has traditionally been industry standard within licensed sleep clinics, works very well but is a bulky, loud piece of equipment and is difficult to travel with. CPAP compliance (patient use) is lower than expected, partly because so many people get diagnosed, spend money on this device and don’t make regular full use of it and then remain untreated.
  2. The other option is a Mandibular Repositioning Appliance or Mandibular Advancement Appliance, which is similar to a night guard but repositions the lower jaw to open the airway when a patient is sleeping. This appliance has much higher compliance and some people who have a CPAP still use of this appliance when they travel. The unique thing about this, generally, is that it tends to be prescribed with a “trial and error” approach. Hence, why the medical community tends to have mixed reviews about it.

However, the Zephyr machine we use at 9th Avenue Dental is the only one of its kind that actually tests a patient by moving their jaws with a test appliance, in order to confirm whether they respond to the treatment and also gives our clinicians the exact position to set their jaw so that we can know with very high confidence that this positioning of the device will treat their OSA.

Further Information

Sleep Apnea Awareness

It can be difficult to identify sleep apnea on your own, since the most common symptoms happen when you’re sleeping. Ask someone to observe your sleep habits, or you can record yourself sleeping to assess whether pauses happen while you snore, and if you choke or gasp after these pauses. These few symptoms could mean you may have sleep apnea.

Some major warning signs:

  • Loud, disruptive and chronic snoring nightly
  • Choking, snorting, or gasping during sleep
  • Extended breaks and pauses in breathing
  • Waking up at night feeling short of breath
  • General overall fatigue throughout the day, no matter how much time you spend in bed

Other symptoms can include:

  • Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Frequent nighttime awakenings, insomnia or restless sleep habits
  • Frequent nighttime trips to the bathroom
  • Forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating
  • Increased moodiness, irritable, or depressed
  • Morning headaches
  • Impotence

Often people ask whether it is sleep apnea or just loud snoring. The biggest difference between sleep apnea and snoring is how you feel the next  day. Regular snoring doesn’t interfere with the quality of your sleep as much as sleep apnea does, so you’re less likely to suffer from extreme fatigue and sleepiness throughout your day.

Causes of sleep apnea can include:

Anyone can have sleep apnea, you do have a higher risk for obstructive sleep apnea if you’re:

  • Overweight, male, with a family history of sleep apnea issues
  • Over the age of 50, a smoker, affected by high blood pressure
  • Black, Hispanic, or a Pacific Islander
  • Someone with a neck circumference greater than 15.75 inches (40 cm)

Some other physical attributes that could put you at risk for obstructive sleep apnea include a deviated septum, receding chin, or enlarged tonsils. Your airway may be getting blocked or narrowed while you’re sleeping, basically because your throat muscles relax more than normal. If you have allergies or other medical conditions that cause nasal congestion and blockage can also contribute to sleep apnea.

Get an assessment today if you suspect sleep apnea

Sleep apnea can be a potentially serious disorder. Contact us if you spot some of these warning signs.

Mandibular Repositioning Devices

At 9th Avenue Dental, we use the Zephyr MATRx Plus system, testing to determine treatment response happens before undergoing an expensive, time-consuming process. Zephyr’s MATRx Plus is a home-based, patient-centric and easy-to-use. The MATRx Plus offers significant benefit to our patients by allowing an accredited sleep physician to confidently prescribe treatment for OSA.

Sleep Hygiene – Do's and Don'ts

The most common cause of insomnia is a change in your daily routine. For example, traveling, change in work hours, disruption of other behaviours and relationship conflicts can all cause sleep problems. Good sleep hygiene is important to maintaining good sleep.

The Do’s…

  • Go to bed at the same time each day.
  • Get up from bed at the same time each day.
  • Get regular exercise each day, preferably in the morning. There is good evidence that regular exercise improves restful sleep.
  • Get regular exposure to outdoor or bright lights, especially in the late afternoon.
  • Keep the temperature in your bedroom comfortable.
  • Keep the bedroom quiet when sleeping.
  • Keep the bedroom dark enough to facilitate sleep.
  • Use your bed only for sleep and sex.
  • Take medications as directed. It is helpful to take prescribed sleeping pills one hour before bedtime, so they are causing drowsiness when you lie down, or 10 hours before getting up, to avoid daytime drowsiness.
  • Use a relaxation exercise just before going to sleep.
  • Muscle relaxation, imagery, massage, warm bath, etc.
  • Keep your feet and hands warm. Wear warm socks and/or mittens or gloves to bed.

The Don’ts…

  • Exercise just before going to bed.
  • Engage in stimulating activity before bed, such as playing a competitive game, watching an exciting program on television or movie, or having an important relationship discussion.
  • Have caffeine in the evening.
  • Read or watch television in bed.
  • Use alcohol to help you sleep.
  • Go to bed too hungry or too full.
  • Take another person’s sleeping pills.
  • Take over-the-counter sleeping pills, without your doctor’s knowledge. Tolerance can develop rapidly with these medications. Diphenhydramine (an ingredient commonly found in over-the-counter sleep meds) can have serious side effects for elderly patients.
  • Take daytime naps.
  • Command yourself to go to sleep. This only makes your mind and body more alert.

If you lie in bed awake for more than 20-30 minutes, get up, go to a different room (or different part of the bedroom), participate in a quiet activity, and then return to bed when you feel sleepy. Do this as many times as needed.

Fact Sheets

Coming Soon!

  • Sleep Apnea 101 (PDF)
  • Sleep and High Blood pressure (PDF)
  • Sleep and Diabetes (PDF)
  • Sleep and Weight (PDF)
Are you suffering from a sleeping disorder?
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