Sleep Apnea Treatment

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

Snoring and OSA

Snoring and OSA are common problems that can affect your sleep, health and have a significant impact on your quality of life. Often snoring is a symptom of OSA, caused by changes in your upper airway while you sleep. Your airway may narrow, limiting air flow as you breathe. Your soft tissue may vibrate (this is commonly known as snoring), or it may completely collapse, causing you to stop breathing. Collapsing of the soft tissue is called an Obstructive Apnea and may last for 10 seconds or more. Your airway may even move through all three stages during the night.

What can I do if I have one or more of these symptoms?

Ask your physician or dentist about taking an Apnea Risk Evaluation Screening test, which involves a simple questionnaire. If you have already been diagnosed with sleep apnea and are having trouble wearing your CPAP, Central Texas Dental Care can work with your physician for your treatment and ongoing care.

How do I get tested for sleep apnea?

An overnight sleep study polysomnogram (PSG) is a test that is conducted in a sleep laboratory or hospital setting where the patient has to stay overnight. This is referred to as a  monitored sleep study. A home sleep test (HST) can be done using a device the patient wears in the comfort of their own home.

My Airway

During normal sleep, the muscles
that control the tongue and
soft palate hold
the airway open.
When these muscles relax,
the airway narrows. This can lead
to snoring and
breathing difficulties.
If the muscles relax too much,
the airway can collapse and
become blocked,
causing obstructed breathing.

Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

  • Loud snoring
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Depression
  • Impaired concentration
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced resistance to infection
  • Choking or gasping for breath

Risk Factors

  • 90% of stroke victims also suffer from OSA.
  • Four times more likely to have a heart attack.
  • Twice as likely to die in their sleep and seven times more likely to have a motor vehicle accident.
  • 40% greater risk of having depression.
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Memory loss
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure

 What are my sleep apnea treatment options?

  • Lifestyle changes: Weight loss, if needed, and an oral appliance are recommended.
  • Oral appliance therapy moves the lower jaw slightly forward and tights the soft tissue and muscles of the upper airway, which prevents obstruction while you sleep.

How does oral appliance therapy work?

The appliance is only worn while you are sleeping. The radiographic image on the left shows a narrow airway while the image onthe right you can see the appliance slightly protruding the lower jaw and how this movement opens the airway.

Will my insurance pay for this treatment?

Most insurance companies pay for a custom-fitted oral appliance. This is billed under your medical insurance, not dental. You may check your policy benefits for custom-fitted oral appliance therapy.

Lifestyle and Sleep Hygiene
Helpful hints to a better night’s sleep

  • Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath, reading or listening to soothing music.
  • Ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool.
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Use the bedroom only for sleep, not television or work.
  • Finish eating at least two to three hours before bedtime.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Avoid caffeine within six to eight hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid nicotine. When used close to bedtime, it can lead to poor sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol close to bedtime.

Are you ready to schedule with Central Texas Dental Care?