Sleep Disturbed Breathing: from Snoring to Sleep Apnea | Dental Sleep Medicine

Do you usually wake up feeling tired after sleeping? Does your partner complain about your snoring?

If so, you may have a Sleep Disturbed Breathing (SDB) disorder. While there are a variety of types, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common one. People with OSA are likely to snore since their throat muscles relax while sleeping, which interrupts their normal breathing patterns. These breathing interruptions can happen throughout the night causing you to temporarily wake up and gasp for air. As a result, it can lead to lower quality of sleep, shortness of breath, and pain your chest area.

Common OSA symptoms include:

  • Snoring.
  • Shortness of breath at night.
  • Feeling tired during the day.
  • Inability to focus.
  • Reduced sleeping quality.
  • Morning headaches.
  • Depression.
  • Low sex drive.


If you have any of the following characteristics/attributes, you may be more at risk of developing an SDB, such sleep apnea:

  • If you’re overweight.
  • If you're male.
  • If you’re 65 years of age or older.
  • If you smoke.
  • If you’re Black, Hispanic, or a Pacific Islander.
  • If you have certain physical attributes, such as having a thick neck , receding chin or enlarged tonsils.


Treating sleep apnea

Fortunately, sleep apnea can be successfully treated. At Rideau Dental Centre, we’ll first examine you to see if you do have sleep apnea. If you do, Dr. George Parry, in consultation with a sleep physician may recommend oral appliance therapy (OAT), which requires you to wear a small oral appliance while you sleep. This device ensures your airways stay open so that you’re breathing properly during sleep. The device is also small and comfortable enough so it won’t bother your gag reflex.

According to research, approximately 60-70% of patients with OSA can be effectively treated with Oral Appliance Therapy. There is now a sleep test called a MATRx study that can assist a sleep physician reliably predict if OAT will be effective for you before going to the expense of having one made. With your general physician's referral, we can assist you with obtaining a MATRx study assessment. If you would like to have more information you may visit the website: http://zephyrsleep.com/patients

Contact, the Rideau Dental Centre in Ottawa to set up a consultation today.