Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the tongue and soft tissues block the airway not allowing air to pass to the lungs. This results in slight pauses in breathing during sleep. Regardless of our body’s attempt to breathe, the airway remains blocked for a period of time, usually 20-40 seconds. The severity of the condition depends on the frequency of episodes. Episodes can range from just a few to 30 or more times per hour. The end result being an immediate drop in the oxygen saturation of the blood.
A majority of people are not aware that they suffer from OSA unless someone else witnesses the condition. Common indicators are snoring being interrupted by silence and then followed by a sudden gasp for air. Typically the person will NOT completely wake up.
OSA can also cause fatigue and sleepiness during the day, along with mood swings, depression, impaired memory, and inability to focus.
Apnea is a serious matter as it can lead to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, heart arrhythmias, and even traffic accidents due to falling asleep behind the wheel.
Some patients are more likely than others to have sleep apnea, but it can affect men and women both young and old. Estimates place the number of those afflicted with OSA up to 17% of the population, and astonishingly 95% of patients have never been diagnosed. The medical community is beginning to take notice.
The gold standard in the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device. A mask is worn over the face of the patient at night, and pressurized air forces the airway to remain open to allow for adequate breathing.
If the patient is unable to tolerate the CPAP, another solution is an Oral Appliance (OA). The OA is designed to reposition the patient’s jaw in such a way to open the airway and allow for proper breathing at night. The production of these appliances must be done by practitioners who have received specific training in sleep apnea.
If you or anyone you know has questions about excessive snoring, OSA, or the Oral Appliance, please do not hesitate to call our office. We work closely with sleep physicians and medical insurance companies in providing this service.
Dr. Arlenita Gomez-Croddy, DDS is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
The Benefit of Mandibular Advancement to the Snoring & OSA Patient is enhanced with Nasal Dilation and Tongue Training!
Easy Mandibular Advancement and Retraction with Patient-Friendly Locking System
Nasal Dilators to Improve Nasal Breathing
Optional Lingual Tongue Repositioning / Training Buttons for Increased Benefit to Moderate/Severe OSA Patients
Maximum Tongue Space & Freedom of Movement
MM Scale to Track Mandibular Position.
The Recommended Oral Appliance for UARS – Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome
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