How Can Orthognathic Surgeries Help Manage Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

 

Obstructive sleep apnea or OSA is a disorder that many suffer from. Recently, the syndrome has received a lot of attention from the medical community due to its serious physiological effects on the affected people. OSA results from low blood oxygen levels and sleep fragmentation causing the patient’s airway to collapse. This leads to an episode of apnea. Studies show that severe, untreated sleep apnea nearly quadruples the risk of death compared to those without sleep apnea.

Recent advancements in orthognathic surgeries have given the medical world a new opportunity for clinical management of OSA patients. Taking this into consideration, our consultant maxillofacial surgeons are now considering invasive jaw correction methods for the same. In this blog, we will understand the health impacts of OSA and how orthognathic surgeries can help manage the condition better.

Understanding OSA

OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea which is characterized by partial or complete obstruction of the upper respiratory system during sleep. This causes an episode of breathing cessation called “apnea” where the oxygen levels lower dangerously. The patient will then wake up gasping for air before falling back to sleep. As this condition causes disturbed sleep, OSA patients will suffer from daytime sleepiness and fatigue. Severe cases of OSA can cause cognitive dysfunction, judgment impairment, inability to concentrate, irritability and even depression. Other physical consequences include pulmonary hypertension, high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias, left ventricular dysfunction, stroke and in worst cases, death.

While nonsurgical treatment options like weight loss, oral appliances, and nasal support devices help reduce the symptoms of OSA, they do not provide a concrete solution to the issue. With the advancement in dental and jaw reconstructive methodologies, combined advancement of the maxilla and mandible has become a viable surgical procedure for treating OSA.

Orthognathic surgeries for OSA treatment

 

Recent studies showed that the prevalence of OSA can be linked to the facial morphology of the patients. This understanding leads the way for specialists to decide that maxillomandibular advancement surgery can help in correcting a patient’s facial features and dental occlusion while addressing OSA at the same time. This orthognathic surgery focuses on enlarging the size of the oral cavity by pulling the base of the tongue and soft palate forward to clear the upper respiratory airways.

Our Consultant Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons plan for the surgery by understanding the skeletal, soft tissue dental structure of the patient. Prior to the surgery, orthodontic or other dental treatments might be required to maximize the results of orthognathic surgery. During post-surgery, the jaws will be in their new position with the help of surgical splints. By correcting the dental and other coexisting facial deformity, the patient is also cured of OSA. Stable clinical results from previous surgeries show that orthognathic surgeries are effective in treating and managing OSA.


If you suffer from sleep apnea symptoms and require medical assistance, consult with our experts, Consultants Dr. Philippe Chanavaz (Consultant Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon) or Professor Pierre Bouletreau (Consultant Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon) at The Dome MedDental Clinic DMCC, and get the best course of treatment today.

 

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