Are you very sleepy even during the day? Does your sleeping partner complain of your loud snoring or even that you appear to stop breathing in the night? Do you have heartburn, headaches, dry mouth or a sore throat in the morning?
If you experience any of these symptoms, you may have a condition called sleep apnea. “Apnea” means “want of breath” in Greek, so sleep apnea indicates that you are not getting enough oxygen while you sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea commonly occurs when the tongue is sucked against the back of the throat, blocking the airway and causing the brain’s oxygen level to drop. The reduced oxygen level partially awakens the sleeper and the airflow starts again, but the cycle will repeat all night.
Sleep Apnea Solution – CPAP
Once a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea is confirmed by your physician, usually after a sleep study at a sleep disorder center, your doctor may recommend a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device. CPAP therapy delivers pressurized air through a system using a mask.
The fan of the small CPAP machine pulls in air and pressurizes, humidifies and filters it before delivering it to you. A hose delivers the air to the user’s mask which fits over the mouth and the nose.
How does a CPAP help? The pressurized air prevents the collapse characteristic of obstructive sleep apnea. Therefore the airway is kept firm and open, and the user will breathe more freely.
Sleep Apnea Solution – Mandibular Advancement Device
Some obstructive sleep apnea sufferers are uncomfortable with and unable to tolerate wearing a CPAP device. We have a good alternative therapy for them!
An alternative treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is to advance the lower jaw to prevent the collapse of the tissue and constriction of the airway. An oral appliance called a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) fits right in the mouth and moves the jaw (and your tongue) forward. This position change increases the size of the airway to allow better airflow.
At our practice, we have special training to treat obstructive sleep apnea with these MAD oral appliances. If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and a CPAP has not worked for you, or if you feel that you suffer from this illness, please come in and see us for an evaluation.
Let Us Know If You Have Questions on Any Aspect of Oral Health Care
Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating and educating patients for over twenty-five years. Our officeserves the New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury, and Sherman areas of CT and Pawling, Patterson and Putnam Lake of New York. You can call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.