Sleep Apnea Treatment

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

OSA is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly starts and stops during sleep. It occurs when the throat muscles intermittently relax and block the upper airway during sleep. Some symptoms of sleep apnea are snoring, daytime sleepiness, headaches, irritability, anxiety, depression, memory loss, gastric reflux, and high blood pressure. Patients with sleep apnea can stop breathing up to hundreds of times per evening, for time periods ranging from five seconds to over a minute in length. While breathing is stopped and oxygen is restricted to the heart and brain, the increased heart rate and stimulation cause the body to momentarily wake.

The disruption in sleep patterns is what causes excessive daytime drowsiness and exhaustion in patients. If left untreated, the constant strain placed on the heart and brain coupled with poor sleep quality and duration can result in serious and dangerous complications to your overall health, including heart disease, stroke, mood disorders, and accidents related to daytime drowsiness.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep Appliance

For some patients experiencing obstructive sleep apnea, your ENT or dentist may recommend an oral sleep appliance to help alleviate the underlying symptoms and complications associated with sleep apnea, which can include excessive daytime sleepiness, depression, high blood pressure, and nighttime teeth grinding. A sleep appliance is a device that is worn in the mouth overnight designed to position the lower jaw slightly forward, thereby bringing the tongue forward and expanding the throat in a way that keeps your airway open to facilitate unobstructed breathing while you are asleep. There are several designs and styles of sleep appliances to assist with treatment, all capable of being custom-fitted to the contours of your mouth. Given the potentially dangerous complications arising from untreated sleep apnea, it is critical to work closely with us to develop a treatment plan that meets your unique needs and promotes your overall health.

If you are suspicious of having sleep apnea, contact us to schedule an appointment.