Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder marked by interruptions and pauses in breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by obstructions in the airway, such as the tongue rolling back in the throat or collapsed tissues in the airway. Untreated sleep apnea can contribute to several serious health conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and liver problems.
Sleep apnea must be diagnosed by a sleep physician. We recommend that you talk to our dentists, as well as your physician, if you suffer from the symptoms of sleep apnea. Common signs of sleep apnea include:
Sleep apnea treatment may depend on the severity of the condition. If you suffer from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, our dentists may recommend a simple oral appliance, such as such as the SomnoMed sleep appliance. Dr. Chow is a certified SomnoMed sleep appliance provider, and will fit these custom oral appliances to keep your airway open while you sleep. Oral appliance fit neatly over the teeth to hold the jaw in a position that prevents your airway from becoming blocked or collapsing during sleep.
Another option to treat sleep apnea is laser therapy using the NightLase™ laser. This gentle laser treatment works to tighten the muscle tissue that keeps the jaw in place, reducing snoring and other effects of sleep apnea. Laser therapy does not require you to wear any devices while asleep.
For more information on sleep apnea treatment, we welcome you to call or visit our dental practice today. We are committed to helping you improve your health!