How is Sleep Apnea Treated? by Christie Dental


There have been a multitude of theories about what causes sleep apnea. Because of this there have been many treatments proposed as well. The solutions range from surgery on the various tissues in the nose, mouth and throat; to CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) and a very large selection of oral and nasal appliances. Because people vary in their response to treatment, many of these therapies have worked for at least some people. The best treatment is that which keeps the airway open with the fewest negative side effects and risk. Additionally, the treatment must be one which people will use.


CPAP meets many of the criteria for success. It opens the airway, has few side effects, has a low risk profile and is readily available. However, many people find the mask, tubes and associated maintenance to be too cumbersome and uncomfortable to use on a daily basis.


Surgery, likewise, has its proponents and for some conditions surgery is necessary. For instance, to remove overgrown tissue from the airway or correct malformed jaw bones. Surgery, however,  does not have a low risk profile, can have significant side effects, requires highly specialized skills and must be done in an operating room environment.


Oral appliances are suggested as a first line treatment for mild and moderate sleep apnea. Oral appliances can also be effective for severe sleep apnea and are used frequently is patients who don’t tolerate CPAP. Oral appliances require at least a few teeth to hold them in and do put a strain on the teeth and supporting structures. This is usually not significant. We will help with determining if your teeth are strong enough.


The key takeaway is that we seek to limit the bad effects of sleep apnea on your health with the fewest treatment side effects. The only way to know how you will respond to treatment is to measure your sleep apnea both before and after treatment. This is done with a home sleep test which records many parameters of sleep during the night. Both the experience in working with different devises and the ability to monitor the results of therapy are the reasons to choose professional help in treating your own sleep disorders.


The consequences of poor sleep are serious and substantial. We have a quick, easy and well thought out process to help you. Please contact us.