How Can an X-ray Determine that You Have Sleep Apnea?

You wake up with a headache, feel fatigued and grouchy all day, and you’ve been told you snore like a bear — sounds a lot like sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder that interrupts your breathing at night. 

One way to tell if you have this condition is to undergo a polysomnography test, which is a study performed while you’re asleep at a sleep center or hospital. Small electrodes placed on your scalp, chest, and legs record a wealth of data from heart rhythm to brain waves and oxygen level, and it’s an excellent diagnostic tool, even if it’s a bit inconvenient and uncomfortable. 

On the other hand, you could find out if you have sleep apnea and why you have it just by getting a simple X-ray here at Innovative Dental Ideas in Hilliard, Ohio. Dr. James Butler and our team have outfitted our offices with the most advanced technology to ensure you get the very best care.

One of our most sophisticated devices is our state-of-the-art X-ray machine that uses a digital sensor instead of old-school film to capture the most precise image of your teeth and soft tissues. We also use a cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scanner to generate three-dimensional and cross-sectional images.

Here’s how that technology can detect or confirm obstructive sleep apnea and pinpoint the culprit causing your condition.

Types of sleep apnea

Sleep apnea causes intermittent interruptions in your breathing when you sleep, which can lead to loud snoring, sore throat, dry mouth, headaches, grogginess, and insomnia. In severe cases, it can lead to heart problems, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and liver problems. 

There are three types of this condition:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea: occurs when something blocks your airway
  2. Central sleep apnea: a breakdown in signals between your brain and your nerves
  3. Complex sleep apnea: a combo of obstructive and central sleep apnea

We use digital X-rays and CBCT to get a better view of your upper airway and find out what’s causing your obstructive sleep apnea. Here’s what we may find:

Depending on your X-ray results, we may recommend conservative treatments, such as losing weight or quitting smoking if relevant. We may also fit you for an oral appliance that helps keep your airway open when you sleep. 

If your obstructive sleep apnea calls for more extensive treatment, we can work with your primary care physician or specialist to make sure you get the treatment you need. 

If you’re experiencing some of the classic signs of obstructive sleep apnea, a digital X-ray can provide valuable diagnostic information and help inform your treatment plan. To learn more about obstructive sleep apnea or any of our other innovative tests and treatments, request an appointment online, or call us at 614-529-0062 today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

How Gum Disease Can Impact Your Bones

If you knew that your dental hygiene routine affects your entire body, would you be more diligent? Here’s what you might not know about how gum disease causes a ripple effect of damage, even in your bones.

3 Signs that Your Filling Needs to Be Replaced

The dental fillings that replace and plug the decayed areas in your teeth last a long time — but not forever. Don’t miss these warning signs that your filling needs to be replaced, or you could develop more problems down the road.

Are Crowns Right for You?

A crown on your head may signify royalty, but a crown in your mouth is much more noble because it can save your oral health. Discover the multiple purposes of dental crowns and find out if one of your teeth is worthy of this crowning treatment.

Help for Your TMJ Pain

Lock, click, ouch! Is your jaw pain becoming unbearable? Sounds like you have TMJ disorder. Now all you need is relief. Keep reading to learn all the ways to stop the pain and get back to eating and talking in peace.

The Importance of X-rays in Dentistry

If you’ve ever worn that heavy lead vest while biting down on stiff plastic plates during your check-up, you know what a dental X-ray feels like, but do you know why it’s so important? Find out exactly why X-rays are needed.