Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that impacts your mental and physical health. Here we explain the disorder and provide some insight into when dental surgery may be required.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that is characterized by frequent, but brief, interruptions during sleep.
If your airways become partially obstructed, their tissues vibrate to create the sound of snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway becomes completely blocked for some time.
As your might imagine, this condition has serious negative effects on the mental, physical and emotional health of our patients. There are many treatment options available, including CPAP machines and oral appliances. In some rare cases, surgery may even be recommended.
How can sleep apnea impact my health?
Are you tired, but unable to sleep? Sleep apnea can lead to a range of serious physical and mental health conditions, from short-term interrupted sleep to cardiovascular disease. depression and even premature death.
Symptoms of sleep apnea
If not promptly treated, obstructive sleep apnea can put you at risk for many health issues, including:
- Lack of energy
- Awakening with a headache or dry mouth
- Extremely loud snoring
- Problems with memory, or memory loss
- Cardiovascular disease
- Heart attack
As many know, snoring can also cause some sleep issues for spouses. However, there is hope when finding the right treatment method that considers the patient's needs and resolves their condition.
How is sleep apnea treated?
There are many different and successful treatments for sleep apnea. Depending on your needs, your dentist may recommend:
Custom-fitted oral appliances shift your tongue and lower jaw muscles to make sure your airways remain open, This helps with airflow and prevents you from waking in the night.
Short for Continuous Positive Air Pressure Machines, these devices use a fan to draw in air, pressurize it and then humidify it for ease of breathing.
Surgery is generally reserves for rare cases that can't be resolved with any other methods like lifestyle changes or oral appliances.
Do I need sleep apnea surgery?
If other treatments haven't worked, one or more surgeries may be recommended. Your options can include:
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) removes and repositions excess tissue to widen the throat and airway.
- Radiofrequency Volumetric Tissue Reduction (RFVTR) shrinks and tightens tissues around the throat.
- Septoplasty and Turbinate Reduction straightens a bent or deviated nasal septum.
- Hyoid Suspension pulls your neck bones forwards and secures them in place, enlarging the space for breathing.
- Maxillomandibular osteotomy (MMO) and advancement (MMA) cuts jawbones to treat severe sleep apnea.
Do you have questions about sleep apnea treatments and how they can help?
A dentist will be able to answer any of your questions and recommend an appropriate treatment. Find a dentist to get started.