Obstructive Sleep Apnea
About Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. As a result, repeated breathing pauses occur, which often reduce your oxygen levels. These breathing pauses are followed by brief awakenings that disturb your sleep.
Is Treating OSA Important?
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Chronic acid reflux
- Erectile dysfunction
According to new studies, patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) could be at increased risk of adverse outcomes from COVID-19, including death. Although CPAP is commonly the first-line therapy to treat sleep apnea, the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) recently published a position statement declaring that OAT is an appropriate first-line therapy to treat sleep apnea without increasing the risk of spreading COVID-19.
If you experience any of the common symptoms of OSA listed below, contact a qualified dentist to schedule an OSA screening exam today.
- Common symptoms of OSA include:
- Loud or frequent snoring
- Silent pauses in breathing during sleep
- Choking or gasping sounds during sleep
- Daytime sleepiness or fatigue
- Waking in the morning and feeling refreshed
- Morning headaches
- Waking during the night to go to the bathroom
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory loss
- Decreased sexual desire
How is OSA Diagnosed?
How is OSA Treated?
- CPAP therapy involves wearing a face mask connected by tubing to a constantly running machine.
- Oral appliance therapy uses a mouth guard-like device - worn only during sleep - to maintain an open, unobstructed airway.
- Surgical options include a variety of procedures. All have varying side effects and rates of success.
Many patients consider a sleep apnea appliance to be more comfortable to wear than a CPAP mask. Oral appliances also are quiet, portable and easy to care for.
If you and your doctor decide that oral appliance therapy is the best treatment option for you, then your doctor will write a prescription for you to receive a custom-made sleep apnea appliance. You also will receive a referral to a qualified dentist who can provide oral appliance therapy. More than 100 oral appliances have received FDA clearance. Your dentist will recommend the device that is best for you. Oral appliance therapy is covered by many medical insurance plans.
Updated September 24, 2019