Sleep Apnea Dentist Appliances – is there a cure for OSA?
Dentists are in a unique position to do a lot of good for patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and OSA. New novel sleep apnea dentist appliances such as the Vivos DNA Appliance among others can naturally increase the size of the upper airway. Increasing the size of the mouth and upper airway can create more room for oxygen flow to your lungs during sleep. Additionally with a larger mouth and upper airway, large obstructing structures such as the tongue, tonsils and palatal tissues are less like to fall into the throat and shut down oxygen and airway. Sleep apnea dentists are in a unique position to offer corrective sleep apnea appliances where in contrast, many other therapies, such as CPAP, only manage the disease.
Dr Adams is a dentist who treats and improves the lives of people with sleep apnea with the use of sleep apnea dentist appliances and tongue myotherapy. “my goal is to improve the overall health of my patients by improving or curing sleep apnea and getting them off treatments such as CPAP forever.” Schedule a consultation and I will show you what our treatments can do for you if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and or TMJ. Treating this problem can literally save years of your valuable life.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea related conditions:
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart attack
- Heart Disease
- Teeth Wear, Bruxism, Clenching, Grinding and Gum Recession
- Metabolic disease
- Thyroid Disease
- Reflux or GERD
- Night Sweats
What is Sleep Disordered Breathing?
Snoring is an alarm and your body sounding off that there is an breathing and airway problem. Whey you are snoring you are literally choking on soft tissue that has collapsed into your airway during sleep. Quite literally what happens is the tongue, tonsils and other tissue settle into your wind pipe or airway and get in the way of you getting enough oxygen while you sleep. It’s almost suffocating to think about. Sadly it is a common phenomenon in roughly 100 million Americans. The truth of the matter is most people who snore have a serious condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
What is Sleep Apnea Really?
People who have obstructive sleep apnea or OSA stop breathing for 10 seconds or more at a time. For some people this can happen hundreds of times per night. To start breathing again, the individual will usually clench their teeth, causing them to partially awaken, when the obstructions (tongue etc) can be removed. Most people do not realize these things are going on till the problem gets really bad because they are asleep. Once the condition gets really bad, there will usually be complaints about jaw pain, TMJ, headaches and poor sleep. Sadly most of the time this condition escapes diagnosis as it slowly kills you like high blood pressure. OSA is a very insidious disease.
Sleep Apnea in Kids? Sleep Apnea Dentist Appliances also work for Kids
- Poor development
- Attention Deficit and ADHD like problems
- Behavioral Issues
- Academic under performance
- Late Bed Wetting
Sleep apnea dentist appliances such as the ALF appliance is very useful in treating kids.
Sleep Apnea symptoms:
- Loud snoring
- Severe Daytime Tiredness
- Irregular night time breathing (Gasping, Choking, Reflux)
- Restless Sleep
- Scalloped Tongue
- Small Mouth
- Orthodontic Problems
- Difficulty Swallowing
- Difficulty concentrating
- Morning Headaches
- Dry Mouth and throat
- TMJ-TMD Symptoms
- Restless Leg Syndrome
The best way to diagnose sleep apnea is with an overnight sleep study called a polysomnogram, which is either performed in a sleep clinic or at home. The study will measure a few things such as breathing, quality of sleep, oxygen levels in your blood, heart rate, and body movements. Often people who have airway issues have cracked and missing teeth. A great implant dentist in Maryland is Dr. Norkiewicz.
You can do the following things to Naturally help Sleep Apnea:
- Sleep on your side
- Strengthen your airway and breathing muscles with exercises such as yoga “fire breathing.”
- Lose weight to reduce your BMI
- perform some tongue exercises aka myotherapy
- quit smoking
- regular exercising
- avoid caffeine, late meals and becoming over-tired which causes deep sleep.
The Tongue Tells much of the Story and literally the writing can be on-your-tongue. A tongue normally appears:
- Smooth Borders
- Wide Range of Tongue motion forward and side-to-side
- light red color
- Soft smoth and not bumpy
- light glossy white coating
Sleep Apnea Tongue
- rough scalloped edges
- red and inflamed spots on the edges
- lumpy, bumpy, rough areas
Scalloping of the tongue is caused by the tongue being squished up against the teeth. The Scalloping is due to the lower jaw being too small for the tongue to fit. The best way to correct obstructive sleep apnea is to literally correct the obstructions.
High Tongue Position
When there is little space between the teeth, the tongue takes a higher position in the mouth, moving closer to the tonsils and palatal tissues.
Airway Obstructions in the Upper Jaw:
- A high tight under-developed palate.
Long Soft Palate
A long soft palate can sag and flop down on the tongue. It’s not too hard to see the obstruction here. Imagine creating more room in the mouth for this tongue to sit down properly. No doubt that would create more room for air to get past the tongue and soft palatal jam here. these are problems a dentist is in a unique position to fix without surgery.
When tonsils are large (arrows) they obstruct breathing or the passage of air between the lungs and the mouth and nasal passageways.
Deviated septum Symptoms:
- poor nose breathing
- nasal congestion, usually one side is worse
- sinus Infections
- nose bleeds
Enlarged turbinates can obstruct air flow during nose breathing.
The main symptoms of enlarged turbinates are:
- Chronic nose stuffiness
- Difficult nose breathing
Undersized Mandible or Retrognathic Lower Jaw:
The smaller and further back your lower jaw is the closer your tongue is to your airway and more likely it is that your tongue will fall back into your throat during sleep.
sleep apnea dentist appliances such as the MRA appliances will have a upper and lower piece of plastic for the patient to bite more forward into. This forward jaw position holds the lower jaw forward and further away from the wind pipe. This is the traditional dental appliance treatment, Again this is a treatment that manages sleep apnea.
Some novel dental appliances such as the DNA Appliance will correct or dramatically improve sleep apnea by growing the windpipe or the airway larger. It’s like getting a new larger windpipe. Red is before and Blue is after.
Sleep Apnea Dentist Appliances can help correct many of the anatomical problems above. It is best to treat the underlying cause of OSA rather than the symptoms whenever possible.