Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a debilitating breathing disorder defined as the cessation of breathing for 10 seconds or more when you are sleeping. Untreated, OSA can lead to heart disease, strokes and excessive daytime sleepiness. Over 1000,000 people are killed or injured each year in crashes attributed to a driver who has fallen asleep at the wheel or who was inattentive due to severe drowsiness.
Do you ever wake up from sleep choking or gasping for breath? Has your bed partner noticed that you snore loudly or stop breathing during the night? Do you feel excessively tired during the day?
If yes, then should call us immediately because you might have Obstructive Sleep Apnea!
A physician needs to diagnose OSA since the diagnosis is based on the results of an overnight sleep study called a Polysomnogram (PSG). Dr. Manisha Patel will work with your physician as part of a medical team. She is specially trained in sleep medicine and is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.
Behavior therapies such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol and tobacco smoke, and sleeping on your side can decrease the severity of sleep apnea.
Medical and dental treatments include Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), oral appliance therapy (OAT) and upper -airway surgery.
The CPAP is the most commonly prescribed treatment and usually the only option given to those diagnosed with sleep apnea. But most patients don’t know they have a choice of treatment! Research shows that CPAP failure is high and patients find the mask uncomfortable. In cases where CPAP has not been tolerated–oral appliance therapy can be used as an alternative form of treatment. In a study in which patients tried both an oral appliance and CPAP, patients preferred the oral appliance 20-1 over CPAP!
Oral appliance therapy involves the selection, fitting and use of a specially designed oral appliance worn during sleep that maintains an opened unobstructed airway in the throat. Oral appliances may be used alone or in combination with other means of treating OSA and have several advantages over other forms of treatment including comfort and small size making them convenient and easy to carry when traveling.
To learn more about dental sleep medicine and oral appliance therapy call us now to schedule a consultation! You can also visit the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine Web site at www.adsm.org. to learn more about Oral Appliances.