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Surgical Treatment for Sleep Apnea

Man snoring in bedIn the United States, around 22 million people suffer from a serious sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea, and of all the cases in the U.S., 80% are moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea.

People who have sleep apnea are unable to get a full night’s rest. While sleeping, their involuntary breathing becomes disrupted. Instead of regular inhaling and exhaling, breathing starts and stops suddenly, resulting in gasping, snoring, and jerky limb movements. Even though patients are unable to sense it while sleeping, it is almost like they stop breathing for a while at regular intervals, resulting in low oxygen levels in the blood.

Since their muscles are working extra hard during the night to maintain a constant flow of oxygen to the lungs and other parts of the body, patients with sleep apnea feel extremely tired and lethargic during the day. Sleep apnea can have serious implications on a person’s personal and professional life as they will always be exhausted and in low spirits.

Types of Sleep Apnea

There are three types of sleep apnea:

•  Obstructive Sleep Apnea – This is the most common type of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles at the back of the throat relax during sleep and block the air passages that are carrying oxygen from the nasal cavities to the lungs. When the air passages get blocked, the person cannot inhale or exhale properly. This leads to the disruption of involuntary breathing.
•  Central Sleep Apnea - This is the second most common type of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea occurs when there is a delay in the messages that are being sent from the brain to the muscles that are involved in the process of involuntary breathing. Because the muscles are not able to receive the information on time, such as when to contract and when to relax, breathing becomes irregular.
•  Mixed or Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome - This is the least common type of sleep apnea. Mixed or complex sleep apnea occurs when a person suffers from both obstructive sleep apnea as well as central sleep apnea.

Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea

The rate of diagnosis for sleep apnea is quite low. In most cases, patients may not even realize that they have sleep apnea for half of their lives because the symptoms occur while they are fast asleep. Only those who share their bed with their partner or sleep in common rooms are able to approach sleep specialists for a proper diagnosis because their partner or roommate will inform them about the constant snoring, gasping, or jerky limb movements through the night.

The full diagnosis of sleep apnea is made when a patient stays the night at a sleep center. The patient will be connected to a monitor that will record the patient’s heart rate, breathing rate, blood oxygen level, brain activity, and eye and limb movement through the night. These factors will enable the doctor to diagnose sleep apnea and gauge the severity of it.

Treatments for Sleep Apnea

Mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea can be treated with the use of oral appliances like mouth guards, mandibular advancement devices, and tongue retainers that ensure that throughout the night, air passages remain open.

Other devices such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV), and supplemental oxygen devices are also used to ensure a constant supply of oxygen through the night.

However, in severe cases of sleep apnea, the patient may be advised to undergo a surgical treatment to cure his or her sleep apnea.

Surgical Treatment for Sleep Apnea

In case the problem persists, and it is found that the main reason for sleep apnea is the excess tissue at the back of the oral cavity, the positioning of the jawbone, or the lack of space in the trachea, then the dental surgeon will recommend one of the following surgical treatments for sleep apnea:

•  Tissue removal
•  Tissue Shrinkage
•  Jaw repositioning
•  Implants
•  Nerve stimulation
•  Tracheostomy

If you are a patient with sleep apnea and are looking for the safest and most effective surgical treatment for curing your sleep apnea, then visit us today at San Tan Oral Surgery. You can even call us at (480) 604-2592 to book your appointment in advance.
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San Tan Oral Surgery, 3303 S. Lindsay Rd. Suite 112, Gilbert, AZ 85297-2100, (480) 604-2592,, 7/17/2024, Tags: Dental Implants Gilbert AZ,