Cosmetic Dentist - Salem Oregon | 810 Liberty St NE | Salem, OR 97301 | 503-364-9222
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is simply described as a sleep disorder consisting of pauses in breathing during sleep. For this disorder to be sleep apnea - the pauses in breathing need to be at least 10 seconds in combination with some other events like arousal from sleep. Generally - there needs to be multiple apneic events every hour. The only way to determine if a person has sleep apnea is to have a sleep study done or a polysomnogram.
Sleep disordered breathing has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, arrhythmias, sleep deprived driving accidents, and memory loss in combination with the reductions in the size of the brain - especially on the left side.
There are three main treatments for sleep apnea: CPAP ( continuous positive airway pressure ) device; OAT ( oral appliance therapy ); and surgery. A CPAP device uses air pressure to help keep the airway from collapsing during sleep. Oral Appliance Therapy usually holds the lower jaw in a forward position while the patient is sleeping. This tends to open up the airway preventing apneic events. OAT tends to work best in mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea. Surgery uses various strategies to open up the airway of stiffen the tissues around the airway to prevent collapse.
Dental sleep specialist
Our office is has many hours of training in the treatment of sleep apnea via oral appliance therapy. We work closely with sleep center physiciains to work towards the best treatment possible for the patient. The best treatment and best options are very different for each individual patient. Below is a video describing in more detail some of the possible beneifits of oral appliance therapy.