Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Snoring Treatment

Sleep apnea, meaning "without breath," is a serious medical disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. While it is normal to stop breathing for a moment during sleep, with sleep apnea breathing stops for at least 10 seconds more often than it should, and the patient has no awareness that this has happened.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Do You:

  • Snore or make noises when you sleep?
  • Wake up tired or have unrefreshing sleep?
  • Have daytime fatigue?
  • Have trouble with sleep?
  • Seem to be gaining weight?
  • Toss and turn in bed?
  • Have diagnosed sleep apnea?
  • Dislike using a C-Pap machine?

"Obstruction of the airway occurs when the base of the tongue presses against the soft palate as you sleep. Because air cannot enter the lungs, the blood oxygen level falls below normal. At this point your brain will tell you to wake up, which you will then do, with a loud snore. As soon as you wake up the muscle tone in the upper airway and the tongue returns to normal. You begin breathing as you usually do. This cycle repeats when you go back to sleep. In mild cases of sleep apnea, the cycle of apnea and normal breathing occurs only a few times during the night. In severe cases the cycle may repeat several hundred times. "1

Snoring, snorting and other sounds are common with sleep apnea, but may not be present. Sleep issues such as sleep apnea or snoring may cause fatigue and contribute to health issues or obstruct the healing process. Those with sleep apnea are far more likely to experience high blood pressure, and if not treated, may be at increased risk for heart disease, diabetes and other long-term health issues.

Sleep is the time when our body repairs itself. It is essential to diagnose and treat the causes of this condition and make recuperative sleep and its oxygenation a  necessary part of a good health regimen.

Sleep apnea must be diagnosed by a medical doctor. An evaluation, including a Sleep Study to determine the cause of sleep apnea will help determine the course and outcome of treatment.

 

Sleep Apnea Treatment 

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has approved oral dental appliances that may help you. They are non-invasive, effective and more comfortable to wear than a CPAP machine, or may be used in conjuction with a CPAP.

- An oral sleep appliance (OSA), or dental mouthpiece/appliance worn at night may help reverse the throat mechanism so the body can get enough oxygen when you sleep.

Since there are many structural components to the problem there are different oral appliances, and the correct one can be customized for you. This may be most effective for mild to moderate sleep apnea but has been shown to be also effective for some advanced sleep apnea and the patient may be more compliant than with a CPAP mask.

- CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy is a mask worn while sleeping which forces breathing and oxygen if the person stops breathing. It is effective when used continuously but some find nightly use and maintenance of the CPAP machine difficult and a large percentage of patients discontinue use.

- Lifestyle changes such as weight loss for those that are overweight may improve sleep apnea. Cessation of smoking and alcohol, regular exercise, and treatment of allergies may improve mild sleep apnea. These other factors can be evaluated by one of the physicians.

Home Sleep Study for Sleep Apnea or Sleep Disorders

Sleep Studies performed through NIHA home sleep study machine is a Third Generation Machine possessing 10 channels to measure:

  1. Airflow (pressure),
  2. SpO2
  3. Heart rate.
  4. Acoustic snoring (dB & pattern).
  5. Actigraphy (head position and movement).
  6. EEG/ EOG/EMG (NREM/REM).
  7. Respiratory effort.
  8. Behaviorally estimated sleep/wake,
  9. Behavioral arousals.
  10. Signal quality

AHI (Apnea Hypoxia Index) compliant and conforming with AASM (American Academy of Sleep Medicine and CMS (Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services); all signals are integrated into a compact forehead unit that is easy to use with voice prompts guidance, and voice prompted alerts to maximize signal quality.

Many home sleep studies in the market are conducted using a First or Second-Generation machines which yield much less data.

Schedule a brief sleep consult 

 

The biological dentists work with the physicians at NIHA to remedy sleep problems, including sleep apnea.


Schedule a  Sleep Consultation

Patient Testimonial for a Sleep Problem using a Dental Appliance:

This patient was negative for sleep apnea on an overnight sleep test but "the very first night I wore the dental appliance I slept through the night...I have turned a corner with my illness."

 

Another Patient Testimonial

 

Related Topics

Biological Dentistry

Snoring, Sleep Apnea and Dental Sleep Medicine

 

 

1 Questions and Answers About Sleep Apnea, Sudhunsu Chokrovery MD, FRCP, FACP