If your wisdom teeth are beginning to grow in, you will probably need to have them removed. However, if you have sleep apnea, this could complicate things. General anesthesia can be dangerous for people with sleep apnea. If you need your wisdom teeth to be removed, read on to learn why general anesthesia is dangerous and how you can have your wisdom teeth extracted safely when you've been diagnosed with sleep apnea.
The Problem With General Anesthesia
Being placed under general anesthesia is a lot like entering deep sleep. Your muscles relax, and your body stops reacting to stimuli. If you have sleep apnea, this means that you're at equal or greater risk of your airway collapsing as when you sleep.
Chances are if you have sleep apnea, your doctor has given you a machine like a c-pap to help keep your airway open while you're asleep. Unfortunately, you can't use a device like this while you're having oral surgery, as it will block your mouth.
With most surgeries requiring general anesthesia, if you have sleep apnea, the surgeons will be able to maintain your airway by intubating you. However, an intubation tube would get in the way of an oral surgeon, so it's not a possibility in most oral surgeries like wisdom tooth extraction.
If you can't undergo general anesthesia because of your sleep apnea, then the best way to fix this problem is to overcome your sleep apnea. Thankfully, many people lose their symptoms of sleep apnea by losing weight. If you're overweight or obese, starting a weight loss regimen could potentially make your sleep apnea go away, making surgery possible. There are also exercises that some patients with sleep apnea have reported helping with symptoms of the disorder.
Local Pain Solutions
If you're unable to lose enough weight for your sleep apnea to go away, or it doesn't work, or you don't have time, there is another possibility. While most oral surgeons perform wisdom tooth extraction under general anesthesia, it usually is possible to perform the procedure under local pain care instead. This means that your surgeon will inject the area with several doses of novocaine to fully numb the area. You will remain conscious during the procedure, so your airway won't be in danger, but you also won't experience any pain.
If you have sleep apnea and your wisdom teeth have to be removed, don't fret. Whether you find a way to reverse your sleep apnea or you ask your dentist to perform surgery without general anesthesia, you'll do just fine. You can consult dentists such as Family Medical Dental Center for more information.