Snoring & Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a breathing disorder characterized by brief interruptions in breathing during sleep. It is caused by the airway collapsing and not allowing air to flow into the person’s nose or mouth, leading to the individual awakening and gasping or snorting for air. This is called a hypopnea or apnea and can occur tens to hundreds of times per night, depending on OSA severity.
Contributing factors to snoring and OSA are smoking, being overweight, male, over the age of 65, having a thick neck, deviated septum, retruded chin, narrow palate or large tonsils, ethnicity and relation to someone with OSA.
Health factors associated with OSA are increased risk for hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, impotence, cognitive and behavioral problems, bruxism (grinding your teeth) and mortality. Individuals with sleep apnea may feel tired, lethargic, or unable to concentrate well during the day, which may lead to poor performance at work or accidents. Other signs that you may have sleep apnea are restless sleep, dry mouth or headaches in the morning, pauses in breathing, night time awakenings, or moodiness and depression.
For snoring and mild to moderate OSA, where the patient’s airway is closing off due to the tongue and throat collapsing, a mandibular repositioning device or snoring appliance which moves the lower jaw forward to hold the airway open when sleeping may be sufficient.
For moderate to severe cases, a CPAP device which delivers a constant stream of air may be required. Other treatments where the oral surgeon can help with moderate to severe cases (eliminating the need for a CPAP) and give the most effective results are orthognathic (jaw) surgery, tonsillectomy, palatal expansion, tracheostomy, and volumetric tissue reduction. By using braces or appliances, the orthodontist may be able to widen the palate and round out the patients upper and lower teeth, increasing their airway.
Contact us today by dialing 954.782.1864 or click here to schedule your appointment today!