Airway Management/Sleep Apnea in Oakville

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! Dental appliances can be fabricated for patients diagnosed with snoring. While CPAP machines are the conventional standard for those diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea, dental appliances are equally appropriate for these diagnoses. A sleep study and medical diagnosis is necessary.

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.

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.