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Sleep Apnea: Who Can Help

Have you ever had the feeling that you couldn’t breathe while you were sleeping? Well, it may not all be just a dream.

You may have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when your breathing is disrupted in some way while you are sleeping. This disruption may cause you to snore loudly, cause sleepiness or even the occasional waking up to choking or gasping for air. It is a serious sleep disorder. However, there are solutions out there for you.

Your first step into getting help with your sleep apnea would be to talk with your dentist. For minor cases of sleep apnea, one solution may be to have oral appliance therapy. What this means is that a mouth guard will be suited to fit your mouth and you will only have to wear it at night. This the most common and least invasive solution for sleep apnea.

However, for more serious cases of sleep apnea often referred to as obstructive sleep apnea or OSA, you may need to see a sleep specialist. They will monitor how you sleep and determine if further action would need to take place for your specific case. These more extreme cases can lead to the need of CPAP therapy or surgical solutions.

CPAP therapy is the use of a face mask while you sleep that runs throughout the night. This helps you to breathe better and more soundly while you are sleeping.

If sleep apnea is still an issue, then you may need to talk to your dentist about possible surgical procedures. There are various types of procedures that can help patients find relief from sleep apnea and your dentist will assist you in finding what works for you. There are various procedures that can treat sleep apnea, here a few:

  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), involves removing excess tissue in your throat to open up your airway.
  • Palatal implants, is a surgery where small rods are inserted into the soft tissue which then prevents the blockage from happening.
  • Maxillomandibular osteotomy and advancement (MMO & MMA), is a surgery option for more severe cases. In this surgery your jaw is positioned forward to create a bigger space for breathing. The recovery is a bit more inconvenient so this is used for only more severe cases.

Whatever your degree of sleep apnea, you will only find relief if you begin with talking to your dentist.  Contact Gruelle Dempsey today and we will help you find the relief you need.