Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder where the airway becomes covered, usually by the tongue, due to abnormal muscle relaxation of the tongue and surrounding muscles in the throat area. With the airway covered, a person does not breathe. Since no breathing is taking place, one’s oxygen level in their body drops and their heart rate increases. This lowered oxygen level is dangerous because it can cause a stroke or heart attack.
The higher heart rate is dangerous because it can aggravate high blood pressure. In an attempt to breathe, a person either awakens or partially awakens gasping for breath. Since an individual is always awakening to catch their breath, they never get the deep restful sleep needed by the body.
Definitely yes. In 2006, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine published a position paper stating that oral appliances are comparable therapy to CPAP for mild and moderate apnea, and a treatment option for patients who were CPAP and surgery failures. One of the major advantages of the oral appliance is patient compliance.
Over 95 percent of those given an oral appliance have reported continued use of the appliance after two years! The oral appliance has been shown to effectively control snoring in over 90 percent of patients. Mild and moderate sleep apnea respond extremely well; even many cases of severe apnea have been resolved with oral appliance usage.
YES! Medical research has shown that oral appliance therapy is very effective for mild and moderate sleep apnea, and very helpful for CPAP intolerant severe sleep apnea patients. This therapy is also very effective for people who have had surgery and the surgery was not successful. One of the major advantages of the oral appliance is patient compliance. Over 95 percent of those given an oral appliance have reported continued use of the appliance after two years! The oral appliance has been shown to effectively control snoring in over 90 percent of patients.
Research and clinical data show that there is no adverse effect on the jaw joint. This is not to say that, in rare cases, jaw problems cannot occur. A certain percentage of patients will have tooth or jaw movement. This is a small inconvenience in comparison to the dangers of sleep apnea. Always remember, your ability to breathe trumps everything else.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommends dental sleep devices as the first line of treatment option for anyone who has mild to moderate apnea and for anyone (even patients with severe apnea) who cannot tolerate CPAP. The AASM states that these devices should be made by a dentist who has had specialty training in the field of sleep medicine. This prohibits physicians from making the dental devices, and your device should only be made by dentists with proper training. Dr. Stopper has devoted numerous hours to advanced training to ensure the highest level of care. We work closely with your physician to make sure that your dental sleep therapy is medically successful.