Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

Snoring And Obstructive Sleep Apnea Services

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a very common medical condition where the tongue and soft palate collapse in the back of the throat during sleep, causing air flow to stop.  When the oxygen level in the blood drops low enough, the patient awakens, usually with a gasp.  This repeats frequently throughout the night, causing the affected patient to get insufficient rest.

OSA has significant consequences to health.

Research shows that OSA increases the risk for:

  • Snoring
  • Hypertension - sleep apnea is a primary risk factor for high blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Work and driving related related accidents
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Arrhythmias (irregular heart beat)
  • Metabolic disturbances, such as abnormal weight gain and poor blood sugar control
  • Cardiac hypertrophy (enlargement of the heart) and heart failure

OSA is a serious medical condition that must be diagnosed by a physician (usually a sleep medicine doctor).
Treatment options include weight loss, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP machine), Dental Appliance Therapy and Surgery.

Dental appliance therapy refers to an appliance that is worn in the mouth while sleeping to treat snoring and OSA.  The purpose of this appliance is to mechanically keep the lower jaw in a more forward position; this repositions the tongue and other soft tissues to maintain an open, unobstructed airway. 

Dental appliance therapy is as equally effective as CPAP for management of mild to moderate OSA. The appliances are better tolerated than CPAP for many reasons:

  • Dental appliance therapy is more comfortable than CPAP.
  • There is no external noise associated with oral appliance therapy.
  • There is no cumbersome headgear or mask.
  • There is no repeatable expense for disposable medical supplies.
  • Dental appliance therapy is very portable and does not require an external power source.

Patients who travel frequently benefit from having the dental appliance, even if they successfully use CPAP.

If you think you may have a problem, click here to take the Epworth Sleepiness Test.

Contact us today for more information.