Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition in which a person suffers from repeatedly disrupted sleep and low blood oxygen levels. Over time, these cycles of decreased oxygenation can lead to more serious cardiovascular problems, as well as excessive daytime fatigue, depression, and loss of focus. Fortunately, there are numerous ways of treating OSA that countless patients benefit from.
Dental sleep medicine is a common area of dental practice focused on using oral therapy to help those living with sleep apnea to lead healthier, happier, freer lives. By working with sleep physicians, we can identify the source of the issue in every patient and determine the best treatment. At Honest Oral Surgeon, we specialize in correcting sleep-disordered breathing caused by a variety of disruptions from OSA to snoring.
If you or a loved one suffer from sleep apnea and are considering potential treatments, please call us today at (949) 298-4078 to schedule an appointment and discuss your options.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
When OSA occurs, your tongue is sucked against the back of the throat, causing blockage to the upper airway and stopping airflow. When the brain’s oxygen level falls too low, the sleeper is forced into a partially awakened state (typically in a loud gasp) as the throat’s obstruction clears and airflow resumes.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
- Waking up with a really dry or sore throat.
- Loud snoring.
- Occasionally waking up from a choking or gasping sensation (general lack of air).
- Fatigue or lack of energy during the day.
- Drowsiness while driving.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Headaches in the morning.
- Restless sleeping.
- Memory troubles and forgetfulness.
- Decreased libido.
- Recurring awakenings or insomnia.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
One common treatment option with a high success rate is an oral appliance, also known as a Jaw Advancing Device (JAD) or Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD). These appliances are custom-made for every patient, using a plastic mold to form and comfortably fit the specific shape of your teeth and mouth. The device works by moving your jaw forward, increasing the size of the upper airway and thereby reducing air resistance that normally leads to sleep apnea or snoring. In addition to being consistently effective at stopping sleep apnea, they also work as an anti-snoring method.
The oral appliance is often favored over surgical sleep apnea solutions such as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure surgery (CPAP). If the patient is overweight, weight loss and changes in diet may also be recommended. However, it is strongly advised to discuss the specifics of your condition first and potentially undergo a sleep study to help Dr. Kim diagnose whether an oral appliance is right for you.
While not every case can be solved by an appliance, rest assured that other treatments are available to resolve the issue and give you the good night’s sleep you deserve. Remember, if you or a loved one struggle with sleep apnea and have any questions about what you can do about it, schedule a visit to Honest Oral Surgeon by calling us at (949) 298-4078.