What Is the Newest Sleep Apnea Treatment?

What Is the Newest Sleep Apnea Treatment?

September 2, 2022

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common sleep disorder, and it occurs when your airway closes during sleep. There are many treatments available for OSA, but none are perfect.

Oral appliances like the mandibular advancement splint (MAS) have risen in popularity as an alternative to CPAP machines that deliver constant pressure through nasal tubes while you sleep.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when there is a cessation of breathing when asleep. The throat muscles relax, the airway becomes blocked (causing snoring), then partially or completely collapses during sleep, resulting in repeated pauses in breathing (apneas).

A person with moderate to severe sleep apnea may have up to 10-15 pauses per hour while asleep, called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). While OSA affects men more often than women, it can affect anyone at any age who has repeatedly stopped breathing while sleeping.

It Is a common condition and can cause serious health problems, including high blood pressure and heart failure. This sleep disorder has been linked to an increased risk for stroke, diabetes, depression, and even high blood pressure in pregnancy.

What are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea symptoms include sleepiness, snoring (or a loud, deep snore), fatigue, headaches, and neck pain. You may also experience dry mouth and soreness from excessive snoring.

How is Sleep Apnea Treated?

Treatment may also include:

  • Breathing exercises (like deep abdominal breathing)
  • Physical exercise stretches out the muscles around your throat and chest area, making it easier for them to breathe correctly during sleep (this type of exercise is called neck strengthening). After starting this type of treatment program, it can take several months before improvements are noticeable.
  • Medication. There are medications available now that can improve symptoms of sleep apnea without requiring surgery.

What Is the Most Effective Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance?

Getting a sleep apnea dental appliance in Poway may be your best option to treat sleep apnea.

Continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP device uses a machine to pump air into the person’s lungs, keeping their airway open and preventing them from waking up.

CPAP is one of the most effective treatment methods for sleep apnea, and it can be used for both short-term and long-term treatment.

What Other Sleep Apnea Devices Can You Use?

  •  Oral appliances

These devices you place in your mouth to help keep your airway open and prevent apnea. The most popular oral appliance is called a mandibular advancement device (MAD), worn at night before bedtime to apply pressure on the back of your jaw and keep it shut while you sleep.

  • Bilevel positive airway pressure

A bilevel positive airway pressure device is a type of sleep apnea treatment that helps keep your airways open while you sleep. It delivers two levels of air pressure, one for when you breathe in and one for when you breathe out. This device is often used for people who have trouble using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device.

  • Adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV) for Sleep Apnea?

Adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV) is a type of sleep apnea treatment that uses a machine to help regulate your breathing. The machine provides positive air pressure to your airway, which keeps it open and prevents snoring and apnea.

When is Surgery Done?

The dentist may opt for surgical treatment if these sleep apnea treatments fail. There are a variety of sleep apnea surgeries available, depending on the condition’s underlying cause.

If sleep apnea is due to an obstruction in the airway, such as enlarged tonsils or a deviated septum, surgery to remove the obstruction may be recommended.

Other types of sleep apnea surgery include tongue reduction surgery, which involves removing the excess tissue from the tongue, and upper airway stimulation, which involves implanting a device that stimulates the airway muscles.

What are the Complications of Sleep Apnea?

While there are many potential complications of sleep apnea, some of the most common include:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes and high blood sugar levels

Schedule an Appointment

Visit North County Dental Group for more information about sleep apnea and the treatment type.

In-House Pediatric Specialist

Dr. Jackie Calcagno is our in-house pediatric dentist at North County Dental Group in Poway. She completed a residency in pediatric dentistry after graduating from dental school. Because of her experience and training, Dr. Jackie has a special touch with children, and understands how best to cater to their specific needs.

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