What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder in which your breathing starts and repeatedly stops during sleep. The cessation of breathing is what we call an “apnea.” Sleep apnea is usually diagnosed when a patient has more than 30 apneas during a seven-hour sleep period. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex.
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by excess tissue, large tonsils, or a large tongue. The problem may also be the result of airway muscles that relax and collapse during sleep, tight nasal passages, or a misaligned jaw.
Central apnea occurs when your central nervous system does not send the proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing. Complex apnea is a combination of both obstructive and central apnea. At Pinnacle Oral Surgery Specialists, we specialize in the treatment of obstructive apnea.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Dr. Kevin Pollock or Dr. Ketan Parekh will make an evaluation based on your symptoms of sleep apnea. Often, the first symptoms of sleep apnea are reported by a partner.
Nonsurgical Treatment of Sleep Apnea
Nonsurgical treatment of obstructive sleep apnea is effective for mild or moderate cases. Oral appliance therapy is the most common nonsurgical treatment. Worn only during sleep, an oral appliance is shaped like a mouth guard or orthodontic retainer. The appliance will support the jaw in a forward position to uphold a clear airway. Each appliance is customized specifically for your mouth using a digital or physical impression of your teeth. Oral appliances are a popular treatment because they are comfortable, quiet, easy to clean, and convenient for travel. A successful oral appliance will have to be adjusted over time to maximize the effects.
Surgical Treatment of Sleep Apnea
For patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea, or those who find oral appliances ineffective, Pinnacle Oral Surgery Specialists offers several surgical solutions. Before we proceed with surgical treatment, the dentist will have to measure your airway at several points, and check for any abnormal flow of air from the nose to the lungs.
The surgical options for obstructive sleep apnea include:
[[[DIVSTYLE:margin-left:25px|[[[BulletList:Maxillomandibular Advancement – A form of orthognathic surgery, or jaw correction, that moves the upper and lower jaws forward. The tongue, palate, and soft tissues also move forward, creating a more open airway. In some cases, maxillomandibular advancement may be the only way to create a proper airway.
~Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty – The partial removal of the uvula to stiffen and shorten the soft palate. We may also reduce the edge of the soft palate.
~Hyoid Suspension – The hyoid bone is situated directly above your thyroid cartilage, or Adams apple. The mobility of the bone may cause the surrounding muscular structures to collapse and block the airway during sleep. During the procedure, the area is stabilized by securing the hyoid bone to the thyroid cartilage.
~Genioglossus Advancement – To reduce the degree of tongue displacement into the throat, Dr. Kevin Pollock tightens the front tongue tendon. In most cases, this procedure is performed in conjunction with a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty or hyoid suspension.
Schedule Your Appointment Today!
If you think you may suffer from sleep apnea, schedule an appointment today, by calling (469) 757-4433!