Orthodontic Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep. The “apnea” refers to a breathing pause that lasts at least ten seconds. This condition occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, despite efforts to breathe. Another form is central sleep apnea, in which the brain fails to properly control breathing during sleep.
This condition, can cause fragmented sleep and low blood oxygen levels. For people with sleep apnea, the combination of disturbed sleep and oxygen starvation and poses a higher risk for hypertension, heart disease and mood and memory problems. It also increases the risk of drowsy driving.
There are a number of factors that increase risk of obstructive sleep apnea. Having a small upper airway (or large tongue, tonsils or uvula), having a recessed chin, small jaw or a large overbite are a few causative factors.
A very common and strong indicator of obstructive sleep apnea is expressed by chronic snoring and should be evaluated by a health professional. Since people with sleep apnea tend to be sleep deprived, they may suffer from sleeplessness and a wide range of other symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, depression, irritability, learning and memory difficulties, and falling asleep while at work, on the phone, or driving.
The orthodontic care for sleep-disordered breathing is mandibular advancement with an oral appliance.
If you believe you are experiencing sleep apnea and need a restful night of sleep, call your Tucson orthodontist at (520) 745-5051 today to schedule an assessment and find out how you appliance therapy can help you.