Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is also known as obstructive sleep apnea and it's the most common form. Throat blockage, mostly from the tongue or palate, is what gives obstructive sleep apnea its name - but it's only one form. Two other forms are central sleep apnea and mixed sleep apnea.

Signs of Sleep Apnea:

 

  • Snoring
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Clenching/Grinding of Teeth

 

Negative Effects of Sleep Apnea and Snoring

  • Heart attack
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Death
  • Industrial and traffic accidents
  • Lost productivity at home and work
  • Depression
  • Relationship and marital discord

 

Strategies to Minimize Snoring

 

  • Sleep on side
  • Normalize body weight
  • Relieve nasal congestion
  • Avoid alcohol or sleeping pills within four hours of bedtime

 

Medical and Dental Treatments of Snoring and Sleep Apnea

 

  • Positional device to prevent sleeping on back

    Snoring is worse when sleeping on the back. Treatments to keep a person on their side or stomach during the night can be very effective in resolving the problem.
  • CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Treatment

    CPAP is generally the primary treatment for people with moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea. The device has an air blower connected to a cushioned plastic mask that covers the nose and sometimes the mouth. It blows room air through the hose and mask into the nose and throat to keep the air passage open during sleep. The air pressure from this device prevents the collapse of the airway and the pressure can be adjusted to maintain the airway for people with all severity levels of apnea.
  • Oral appliance therapy

    An oral appliance is a small acrylic device that fits over the upper and lower teeth or tongue (similar to an orthodontic retainer or mouth guard). This device slightly advances the lower jaw or tongue, which moves the base of the tongue forward, opens the airway, improves breathing and effectively treat snoring and sleep apnea. The appliance is fabricated and customized for each patient by Dr. Hart. Oral appliances are usually well-tolerated by patients. This treatment is effective for treating people with snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. It can also be effective for treating certain cases of severe obstructive sleep apnea. Many different appliance designs are available, so the appropriate device can be customized to each patient's situation.