Sleep-disordered breathing, a range of breathing problems that include snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, occurs during sleep due to partial or total closure of the airway. Snoring is a noise created when the airway gets narrow or partially closes. Sometimes, the only problem associated with snoring is the nose itself. However, consistent, loud heavy snoring has been linked to medical disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious medical condition in which the airway totally closes many times during the night. If you have questions about snoring and sleep apnea in North Richland Hills, Texas, our dentist, Dr. Anuradha Vaddineni will be happy to meet with you for a consultation. Call Precinct Line Dentistry at 817.663.0076 today to schedule your visit.
Untreated sleep apnea can result in:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Reflux depression
- Heart attack
Screening for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea must be diagnosed by a sleep physician. All patients will be screened for obstructive sleep apnea with and overnight pulse oximetry test to measure oxygen levels in the blood.
Treatment with Oral Appliance and Combination Devices
An oral appliance may be helpful in the treatment of snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) and obstructive sleep apnea. Oral appliances are designed to assist breathing by keeping the haw and tongue forward, thereby opening the airway space in the throat. Oral appliances have proven to successfully address snoring and sleep apnea in many people, but these appliances may not help every person. Elements that factor into snoring or sleep apnea may include a person’s weight and different airway obstructions. Each person is different and so is each case. Oral appliances are not the answer for every patient. Post testing can help determine the best course of treatment.
For cases of severe apnea that cannot be adequately treated by the oral appliance alone, a strapless CPAP mask may be added to the oral device. Combination therapy uses the oral appliance to stabilize the jaw and keep the airway open and continuous positive airway pressure (PAP) to restore the oxygen levels in the blood to normal.