Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized during the sleep period by frequent interruptions in breathing. These interruptions, referred to as apneas, are caused by the collapse of the airway soft tissue, preventing oxygen from accessing the lungs.
Sleep apnea interrupts the cycle of sleep which can have a dramatic effect on energy, mental capacity and long-term health. It is important that potentially dangerous symptoms, such as snoring and extreme daytime sleepiness, are not overlooked and that a sleep specialist is consulted. Treatment will help you get the sort of sleep that you need every day to help you feel more like yourself.
Oral sleep apnea treatment appliances continue to rise in popularity as public understanding increases that oral appliances are an important first-line treatment for many sufferers of sleep apnea. For the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, over 100 different oral appliances are FDA approved. These products, much like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic brace, are worn in the mouth when you sleep. To keep the airway open and prevent the tongue and muscles in the upper airway from weakening and blocking the airway, oral appliances hold the lower jaw forward just enough.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has accepted oral appliance therapy (OAT) as a first-line treatment for patients diagnosed with mild to moderate OSA. The AASM also suggests oral appliances for patients with extreme OSA who are unable to accommodate or can not use CPAP devices. The combination therapy (wearing CPAP and oral appliance together) is another choice for people with extreme OSA to help reduce the strain on the CPAP machine, making it more convenient to use.
Custom Made Oral Appliance vs. Boil and Bites
While there are a few over-the-counter appliances that you can buy from drug stores or online, note that these oral appliances are not licensed by the FDA for sleep apnea. When not properly installed over-the-counter appliances can cause unpleasant side effects, such as jaw problems or tooth movements, or may have the opposite effect and unintentionally exacerbate sleep apnea.
If you snore or suspect that you have apnea sleeping, call your primary care physician ( PCP) to help arrange a sleep study to decide if you have an OSA. If it is decided that an oral appliance is a choice for you, it should be equipped by a dentist specifically qualified in Dental Sleep Medicine.
Some people with obstructive sleep apnea or OSA are unable to take continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, the most widely prescribed OSA treatment, despite best efforts. New scientifically tested treatments are now available for certain people with moderate to serious OSA. These new forms of therapy are operating within the body.
Hypoglossal Neuro-stimulation Therapy – Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Hypoglossal neuro-stimulation therapy has been developed to treat patients with mild to extreme OSA who have been unable or unable to take continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. Implant therapy was specifically designed to deliver muscle tone to key tongue muscles, efficiently regulate upper airway flow, and substantially minimize or eradicate sleep apnea.
Neuro-stimulation Therapy – Central Sleep Apnea
Implantable devices that activate the nerve in the chest (phrenic nerve) to transmit signals to the large muscle that regulates the breathing (diaphragm). These signals activate the breathing in the same way that the brain signals the breathing. The systems are placed by a cardiologist during a minimally invasive outpatient procedure. The systems are battery-powered machines placed under the skin in the upper chest region with two short thin wires (leads), one to administer therapy (lead stimulation) and one to feel breathing (lead sensation).
Are You Looking for a Sleep Apnea Specialist You Can Trust?
With over 30 years of professional experience helping patients renew and beautifying their smiles, Balfour Dental continues to be the preferred dental office for families in Brentwood California and the surrounding communities of Antioch, Oakley, Discovery Bay and beyond. Dr. Rayani and Dr. Siao both have many different certifications, including Invisalign Certification, Implant Dentistry, Sleep Apnea Treatment, Cerec CAD-CAM Restorations, Neuromuscular Dentistry, and Implants respectively. Our dental office is locally owned and operated by Dr. Dimple Rayani and Dr. Sien Siao, two professionals with vast experience in Implant Retained Denture treatments as well as in general dentistry. If you are looking to renew your smile, contact Balfour Dental today!