Posted By: Jenny Lee, D.D.S. | Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sleep Apnea in Dentistry

What is Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when there are repeated episodes of complete or partial blockage of the upper airway during sleep. During an apneic “episode”, the diaphragm and chest muscles work harder to open the obstructed airway. Breathing usually resumes with a gasp or a choke. These episodes can affect and interfere with a restful sleep, as well as that of your bed partners.

How can we help treat OSA?

There are dental solutions for treating sleep apnea and snoring.

Mandibular Advancing Devices (MAD’s) are worn in the mouth in order to help improve sleep quality. The MAD gently positions the lower jaw and tongue slightly forward, which in turn, opens space in the back of the throat and reduces tissues obstruction. This helps keep the patient’s airway open for a restful night’s sleep.