Sleep Apnea: How Your Dentist Can Help You?
Have you ever woken up from your sleep gasping for air? Do you suffer from loud snoring that puts your partner out of sleep? Chances are that you may be suffering from the condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea causes the sufferers to stop breathing from time to time throughout their sleep cycle. In these people, the soft tissues of their airways collapse, leading to a break or interruption in their breathing called apnea, while they are sleeping. Naturally, this cuts off the oxygen from passing through the airway and reaching the lungs, which causes the brain to identify the situation and wake up the person, thereby disrupting their sleep, several times in a night. People with OSA often wake up feeling tired and lethargic, which significantly impact their long term physical and mental health.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea can lead to other chronic diseases if left untreated for a long time. For instance, people suffering from OSA develop high blood pressure and heart diseases. In older patients, the lack of oxygen in the brain during the sleep can even lead to a stroke. Other conditions include the risk of developing diabetes, depression and bipolar disorders.
With all things considered, Obstructive Sleep Apnea needs to be treated right from the start. Once the condition is identified, there are several ways to approach the situation. One of the most popular and least invasive methods to manage sleep apnea is the use of oral appliances. This is where our expert dentists can help you.
How our dentists can help treat OSA?
People diagnosed with mild to moderate OSA can benefit from the use of oral appliances to help them sleep better without interruptions. Dental sleep devices called “Mandibular advancement Orthosis” are similar to mouthguards, and are used to push the lower jaw forward during sleep. This keeps the airway muscles from collapsing during apneas and keeps the breathing normal. This specific positioning of the jaw will also cause the windpipe muscles to tighten, making them stronger over time. This, in turn, eliminates apneas in the long run.
Mandibular advancement Orthosis are custom made can alter the position in which the jaw sits when they are in place. Before prescribing the device, our Consultant Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon will assess the patient’s teeth, mouths and temporomandibular joints. Dental models are created before crafting the oral appliance that fits into the individual patient’s mouth. A properly fitted device will reduce the symptoms for patients suffering from milder cases of obstructive sleep apnea with regular use. Our Consultant Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon may also suggest a Maxillomandibular Advancement Surgery which is a surgical procedure that will help increase the volume of the airways at rest and during sleep.
The surgery is normally performed inside the mouth, which do not leave any visible scars outside. During the procedure, the patient’s jaws are repositioned and held together with titanium plates to stabilize the new position. In rare cases where the plates cause discomfort to the wearer, our Consultant Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon will recommend its removal after 6 months. While this procedure is considered invasive, 90% of the patients suffering from moderate to severe cases of OSA are completely cured through this procedure.
Our Consultant Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon may also suggest some dietary changes to limit the severity of the syndrome. Consult with our Consultant Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon at The Dome MedDental Clinic DMCC today to identify the best suited oral appliance or surgery to combat your OSA.