Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a breathing disorder that can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and daytime sleepiness, which makes us more dangerous while driving and operating machinery.
When the muscles at the back of the mouth become relaxed and the lower jaw and the tongue fall back during sleep, the upper airway passage becomes obstructed and the person then experiences apnea — a cessation of breathing. Once the brain detects the low level of oxygen in the body, the person comes out from deep sleep to start breathing again. This fragmented sleep contributes to the daytime sleepiness seen in sleep apnea patients. Special oral appliances that move the lower jaw and the tongue forward to open the airway can be fabricated by dentists.
Diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea involves an overnight sleep study ordered by your physician. The current first choice of treatment of obstructive sleep apnea is a CPAP machine; however, patients can develop intolerance to CPAP machines for multiple reasons. In such situations, special oral appliances can be fabricated by dentists and are indicated for use in patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
Contact us and learn how we can help you manage your sleep apnea by making a sleep apnea oral appliance.