Often referred to as OSA, Obstructive Sleep Apnea is not a laughing matter, or enjoyable for anyone that suffers from lack of breathing during nighttime hours. The effects of recurrent OSA may be more serious than they initially appear. These recurrent episodes produce lowered oxygen levels and elevated intra-thoracic pressures. This may contribute to increases in Hypertension, Coronary Artery Disease and Stroke events.
As of lately, this has become something that experts like our dentist have now become equipped and properly trained to help our patients with. The least invasive is the use of the SomnoMed appliance. The appliance works by moving the lower jaw slightly forward, which tightens the soft tissue and muscles of the upper airway, which in turn prevents obstruction while you sleep.
The advantages of the appliance are:
- No surgery
- Permits normal mouth opening
- Allows speech and drinking
- Unrestricted tongue space
- Full Lip Seal
- Easily adjustable
- Safe and Effective
- Clinically Validated
- Custom Fitted
Using oral surgery to help sleep apnea seeks to remove the excess tissue in the throat that is vibrating and blocking the upper air passages. One surgical procedure is an Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP). This procedure involves removing the excess tissue from the upper mouth and throat. This procedure in performed in a hospital under general anesthesia. Maxillomandibular advancement is another type of procedure used to assist with sleep apnea. This procedure involves the upper and lower part of the jaw. In this procedure, the jaw is moved forward from the rest of the facial bones. This allows more room behind the soft palate, thereby reducing the obstruction. Finally a Tracheostomy is a last ditch effort when other treatments have failed. This involves the surgeon inserting a tube in your throat so you can breathe. It is covered during the day, but opens at night while you sleep. All of the aforementioned surgeries are performed by oral surgeons and are routine and very safe.
It is important for all people to do something about OSA before it becomes something that will affect your health. If you have any questions or concerns about any sleep apnea problems you may have, we invite you to call us for more information. We’re always ready to help you learn anything you need regarding your health and how we can help.