Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea

Monday, August 11th, 2014, 5:55 pm

Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person’s breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. In the most severe cases, a person will stop breathing hundreds of times in a night, sometimes for a minute or longer.

There are three types of sleep apnea, each of which has a different cause. The most common is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is caused by an obstruction in the airway during sleep. Central sleep apnea occurs when the airway is open, but the brain does not signal the muscles to breathe. The third type, mixed sleep apnea, is a combination of the two.

While this condition is very common, it can have serious consequences if it goes untreated, including car accidents due to sleep deprivation, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and cognitive disorders. Fortunately, sleep apnea can be diagnosed and there are a number of effective treatment options available.

  1. CPAP Machine: A continuous positive air pressure machine (also known as a CPAP machine or device) is the most common form of sleep apnea treatment. The device uses a tube and mask to cover the nose, which generates air pressure to keep the airway open during sleep.
  2. Surgery: Surgical intervention can also be successful in treating certain cases of sleep apnea. During the procedure, the surgeon repositions the structure of the mouth and facial bones, thus eliminating the tissue in the throat that collapses and blocks the airway during sleep.
  3. Oral Appliances: In moderate sleep apnea cases, a dentist with special training in appliance therapy can recommend an oral appliance to fit the specific needs of the patient. There are more than 80 oral appliances on the market, which treat a range of symptoms, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. These devices are similar to a retainer, and fit around the teeth to reposition the tongue or jaw.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Toccoa

If you’re ready to learn more about treatment options for sleep apnea, contact Wilbanks Smile Center today and schedule a consultation.  Our offices are located in Toccoa, GA, and we can be reached at 706-886-9439.  We look forward to serving you.

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Category: CPAP device, Dental Sleep Medicine, sleep apnea

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