Obstructive sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep. Each pause can last for a few seconds to a few minutes and they happen many times a night. In the most common form, this follows loud snoring.

Risk Factors:

More commonly seen in male
Excessive weight
Age above 40.
Large neck size (greater than 16-17 inches)
Enlarged tonsils or tongue
Small / backwardly placed lower jaw, Mandible.
Gastroesophageal reflux
Sinus problems
A family history of sleep apnea
Deviated nasal septum (DNS)

Signs of sleep apnea

Loud and chronic snoring almost every night.
Choking or gasping for breath during sleep.
Pause breathing
Waking up at night feeling short of breath
Daytime sleepiness and fatigue, no matter how much time you spend in bed.

To begin with Lifestyle modifications like weight loss, regular exercise, quitting smoking, alcohol, caffeine etc. are needed and after that we plan following treatment which is best suited according to severity of problem and need of patient.

Oral appliance therapy: (snore guard)

It is an effective treatment for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea .It’s also called as antisnoring device. Worn only during sleep, an oral appliance fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. A custom-fit oral sleep appliance can improve sleep, restore alertness and revitalize health. It supports the jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway during sleep.

Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral appliance therapy is an effective, non-invasive treatment that fits easily into your lifestyle. Patients like oral appliance therapy because it is:

Easy to wear
Convenient for travel
Easy to care for
No equipment or cords that can tangle while you sleep

There are several types of sleep therapy machines, but a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine is the most common. A CPAP machine sends a constant flow of airway pressure to your throat to ensure that your airway stays open during sleep, effectively treating the spontaneous pauses in breathing…

In patients having difficulty with other treatments, surgical procedures for the nose and throat can be a beneficial alternative. Skeletal surgical procedure which involves repositioning the lower and/or upper jaws in a forward manner also proves to be very effective. Surgical therapy can also be effective when used as an adjunct to improve tolerance and success with CPAP or an oral appliance.

Is an oral appliance uncomfortable to wear?

Most patients find a sleep apnea oral appliance comfortable and adjust to wearing it to sleep. This custom made device is soft, flexible, and is designed according to your teeth size.

How do oral appliance work for sleep alpnea?

The purpose of a dental appliance to treat sleep apnea is to maintain an open airway while sleeping.

A sleep apnea oral appliance keeps the airway open by preventing the jaw and tongue from falling back during sleep. By reducing the air obstruction, a dental appliance can correct sleep apnea and snoring.

Is there a permanent solution for sleep apnea where I don’t have to depend upon CPAP machine or oral appliance to wear them daily during night?

YES, once all the lifestyle factors are corrected and jaw and tongue position corrected with Orthognathic surgery, in most cases patient’s dependence on oral appliance and CPAP machine is avoided.

What is exactly done in surgical procedure?

You can refer to Orthognathic surgery section in our braces treatment page for more details. click here to know more