Scott A. McKinzie, DMD

A New Level of Dental Care

Return to Our Services

What is Sleep Apnea?

As you sleep, your throat muscles, tongue, tonsils, and uvula (the soft tissue that hangs in the back of your throat) all relax and sag slightly. While this is normal for most people, the change is more pronounced in those with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

OSA sufferers experience a narrowing of the airway when one or more of these parts collapse into the throat. This subsequently causes breathing difficulty. An individual will often stop breathing for ten seconds or more, then gasp for air with a sudden jolt that may not awaken, but does disturb deep sleep.

Each episode of breathing cessation, followed by gasping and snorting, is a shock to the body that can be repeated tens to hundreds of times each night. This is extremely dangerous as it causes oxygen levels to drop dramatically and blood levels of carbon dioxide to increase.

How does OSA Affect Me?

OSA is a medical condition that has only recently been recognized as a serious health problem that affects an estimated twenty million Americans. OSA can be debilitating and, when untreated, has been known to increase the risk for:

  • High blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Obesity
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Depression
  • Frequent nighttime urination

Once OSA is treated, you can enjoy healthful, restorative sleep that is undisturbed by nerve-racking stressful jolts throughout the night. Undisturbed sleep promotes health, lowers stress, increases productivity, and contributes significantly to the joy of life.

How can oral appliance therapy treat OSA?

An oral appliance provided by our office helps to maintain your open airway by repositioning your lower jaw while you sleep. It looks and feels much like an orthodontic retainer, and it is a convenient and comfortable option for patients who wish to be healthier and feel more rested and refreshed. Some advantages of oral appliance therapy include:

  • Oral appliances are small and easy to wear.
  • They are convenient to take while traveling.
  • When compared with other treatment options, oral appliances are relatively inexpensive.
  • Oral appliance therapy is reversible and non-invasive.

For more information about OSA, visit the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. If you believe you may be suffering from OSA, contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Return to Our Services

web design by Twist & Twirl