Where Dentistry Comes In
A trained dentist can work with a sleep physician to determine the best possible care—one where you sleep through the night without any incident of momentary suffocation. The dental treatment consists of an appliance/mouth piece that fits over your teeth or gums. The goal of appliance therapy is to place your jaw forward so that your tongue will not block your airway. Sometimes, this treatment is all you will need. Other times, it will require a variety of medical treatments as well.
CPAP is the gold standard of treatment for severe obstructive sleep apnea.
CPAP saves lives every night. When compliance is high with CPAP, sleep apnea is often well controlled. Unfortunately, not everyone who has a CPAP uses it as often as prescribed. The reasons people do not use their CPAP are varied, but often people just are not comfortable with it while they sleep. When the discomfort comes from having an effective pressure that is too high to be comfortable, the combination of an oral appliance with CPAP can improve compliance and comfort by lowering the pressure to obtain the same effect. When CPAP alone does not cure the OSA, an oral appliance can also improve the results. OAT can also improve the effectiveness of CPAP in some patients.
The Story of CPAP
Medical research has shown a high association of obstructive sleep apnea in people with: A-FIB, Goiter, Type 2 Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Ischemic Heart (heart attack), Grinding Teeth, Stroke, Hypercholesteremia, Asthma, and Metabolic Syndrome. Some of these diseases are likely related to obstructive sleep apnea as a result of the physiologic conditions that exist in patients with these diseases, and others as a possible sequelae of OSA. Most people who have had one of the co-morbidities of sleep apnea are aware of having the co-morbidity. We use these conditions to help us determine who might benefit from having a sleep study to determine if you have OSA.