Airway Management/Sleep Apnea In Oakville

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What Is Airway Management And Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is a medical condition with significant negative health effects impacting both quality and duration of life! The most common type of sleep apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), in which it is difficult to keep the airway open during sleep. Each time the airway closes, breathing stops, and the person wakes up. Symptoms of sleep apnea include excessive daytime sleepiness, poor cognitive function, waking up with a dry mouth, or morning headaches. Sleep apnea can increase stress hormones in the body and heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and ultimately cardiovascular mortality.

While CPAP machines have been the gold standard for those diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea, the AHA has recently endorsed oral appliance therapy as a highly effective alterative. Dr. Joel is trained to provide this treatment. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring are quite common, affecting millions. OSA is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition associated with higher risk of heart attack and stroke.

According to the AHA, as many as 80% of patients with cardiovascular disease (i.e. stroke, atrial fibrillation, pulmonary hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart failure and hypertension) suffer with Sleep Apnea. The majority of these people are undiagnosed. Symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness and condition to high blood pressure and ultimately cardiovascular mortality.

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Sleep apnea is characterized by repeated stops and starts in breathing. If you snore loudly and feel tired after a full night’s sleep, you might have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea may be obstructive, where the soft tissues collapse closing off the airflow, central, where the urge to breathe ceases, or complex combining both.

A diagnosis of sleep apnea can only be given by a sleep physician after an overnight sleep study (PolySomnoGram). Dentistry has a significant effect on airway health, tongue posture and the development of proper breathing and swallowing habits. We form part of a team including sleep physicians, family physicians, ENTs, OMTs, SLTs and oral surgeons.

Airway Management

For Children:
Guiding growth and development in children allows us to avoid future development of adult obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in many cases. Once an adult has developed OSA, treatment is largely limited to managing the effects.

For Adults:
The definition of OSA excludes many adult sufferers of sleep disordered breathing who still benefit greatly from directed dental interventions. These individuals only stop breathing up to 5 times per hour yet are classified as healthy.

Airway management is included in our care for adults. We can screen with risk assessment questioning as well as home testing targeted to identify airway issues while identifying those who require appropriate referral to a sleep physician. CBCT imaging can help visualize the restricted airflow.

Left Untreated, Snoring & Sleep Apnea May Cause Or Increase

▸ Risk of Heart Attack
▸ Stroke or Pulmonary Hypertension
▸ High Blood Pressure
▸ Cardiovascular Disease
▸ Depression
▸ Anxiety or Memory Problems

▸ Migraine Headaches and Weight Gain
▸ Sexual Dysfunction
▸ Motor Vehicle Accidents
▸ Job Impairment
▸ Hyperactivity in Children


The nasal passages and the trachea are supported by bone/cartilage hard tissues and cannot collapse. The space between is bounded by soft tissues including the back of the throat, the tonsils, the soft palate and the tongue. This is where collapse of the airway (blockage or “obstruction”) can occur and commonly involves the soft palate and/or base of the tongue. The noise heard during a partial aware collapse is known as snoring.

Nightlase is a painless, non-surgical procedure to increase the elasticity of the soft palate causing it to lift and increase access for air while re-building collagen to reduce collapsibility. Studies on the original protocol of Nightlase showed a 64% reduction in AHI (the index used to score Obstructive Sleep Apnea) and the newer Nightlase C3 protocol is showing nearly 75% reduction as it also targets tongue base, floor of mouth and the muscles attached to the hyoid bone. There is also a significant reduction in snoring incidence and sound volume.







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Our dental office in Oakville uses the latest dental technology and provides personal patient care to solve dental problems that affect your overall lifestyle.