Oral Device May Help Blood Pressure in Sleep Apnea Patients

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015, 4:49 pm

Patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea often develop or have worsening blood pressure as a result. Research findings presented at the 24th annual meeting of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine in Seattle this week suggest oral appliances may address this problem.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which patients stop breathing during sleep because the airway has become blocked. As we sleep, the tongue and other tissues in the mouth and throat relax and can drop back into the airway. A partial blockage leads to snoring and a complete blockage causes the patient to stop breathing. Once the brain realizes that oxygen levels in the brain have dropped, the sleeper will gasp, briefly waken and begin breathing again. This leave the sleeper with fragmented sleep and often feeling extreme daytime fatigue and sleepiness. Obstructive sleep apnea also places great stress on the heart and circulatory system. The first line of treatment is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) which many people find difficult or impossible to tolerate.

Researchers presented finding that evaluated the benefits of oral appliances on blood pressure in patients who are not CPAP compliant. Researchers looked at 222 patients, of which 26 percent had high blood pressure. Compared to patients without high blood pressure, oral appliances significantly lowered the systolic and diastolic blood pressure of the OSA patients. Blood pressure was normalized in 59% of the patients.

If you have been told that you snore loudly or have been told that you gasp or choke during sleep you  may be experiencing obstructive sleep apnea. Find out more about getting a diagnosis and treatment by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 800-884-9439.

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Category: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), CPAP device, sleep apnea

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