How is sleep apnea treated?
Treatments for sleep apnea depend on the severity of each individual case, and the type of apnea. Basic treatment can be behavioral — for instance, patients are instructed to lose weight if overweight, stop smoking if a smoker, or sleep on their sides instead of on their backs to prevent the tongue from blocking their airway. Myofunctional Therapy are exercises to strengthen muscles of tongue, soft palate, head and neck to help keep the airway open. At Drew Dental we will go over these exercises with you or can refer you to a local Myofunctional Therapist.
Oral Appliance Therapy can be used to prevent the tongue from dropping back and blocking the airway. If you have Sleep Apnea and are snuggling with a CPAP, Dr. Drew can make a custom appliances, specific to your mouth.
Oral appliances are the devices worn in the mouth while sleeping that reposition the lower jaw and tongue to help open the airway. This is accomplished by tensing the muscles that support the airway, which in turn opens or dilates the airway so air can freely move in and out without resistance or obstruction.
Advantages of these appliances:
CPAP is a device prescribed by your sleep medical doctor. After a sleep study, one of the first treatments many patients try is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device. It works by wearing a mask connected to the CPAP machine that provides a constant flow of air that opens your throat, preventing the soft tissue from clasping and triggering an apnea event. While CPAP is one of the most popular options available, there are other solutions for treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
While the CPAP mask has become the quintessential treatment for sleep apnea, it can be uncomfortable for some patients. If you’ve been prescribed a CPAP and you find that it is difficult to wear throughout the night, you are not alone.
This is an extremely common issue for patients. The great news is that there are a variety of CPAP alternatives that comfortably and effectively treat obstructive sleep apnea. Ask Dr. Drew about if a custom Oral Appliance will work for you.
In more severe cases of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, surgery may be an option.