Obstructive Sleep Apnea
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) or any sleep disturbing problem caused by an obstructed airway like Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) or open mouth breathing at night, can be quite debilitating to people.
Our dental team is well trained to use a multi-disciplinary approach to managing and treating airway disorders.
We are equipped to do home sleep studies utilizing a high resolution pulse oximeter or a 7 channel sleep analysis device called a NOX T3. All of our treatments are in collaboration with a board certified medical doctor who specializes in Sleep Apnea. We work with a multi-disciplinary group of medical providers who understand the value of unobstructed sleep in the total health and well being of our patients.
Our evaluation process involves an intensive questionnaire and examination to assess for common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
- Frequent night-time awakenings
- Heavy snoring
- Cardio-vascular disease
- Cpap intolerance
- Type-2 diabetes
- Hormonal disturbances
- Grinding and clenching of teeth at night
- Morning headaches
- Frequent night time urination
- Anxiety and depression
- Unexplained weight gain due to metabolic disturbances
...and many more.
A 3-D airway evaluation utilizing cone beam technology allows us to visualize the airway in a volumetric manner.
Treatment and management of airway disturbances range from CPAP adaptation devices, interdisciplinary collaboration to facilitate nasal respiration and decreased airway obstructions, oral appliance therapy and many other options tailored to your personal needs and desires.
Dr. Khan at Dentistry For Health does not just restore your smile, but also helps treat a variety of dental conditions, including sleep apnea and related issues.
Our sleep dentistry services include:
- Kids and Sleep Apnea
How is sleep apnea treated?
There are several different options for treatment of sleep apnea, depending upon the severity of the apnea, the cause of the apnea, and the patient’s preferred mode of treatment.
Surgery to reduce the size of the tongue or uvula and soft palate is an option, but an invasive one. Tonsil or adenoid removal when warranted is another surgical choice, but again quite invasive and painful for adults.
A CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) forces oxygen into the patient’s nose and mouth while he or she sleeps.
This is the recommended treatment for severe sleep apnea. While highly effective, the machines tend to be quite uncomfortable and patient compliance after one year is less than 70%.
Dental appliances are a much less invasive option
Customized night guards, which keep the lower jaw open and slightly forward are effective in maintaining an open airway and keeping the tongue from blocking the back of the throat while sleeping.
Patients have found these appliances to be more comfortable than the alternative treatments, resulting in high compliance.
In one study, it was shown that mouth appliances were actually more effective than surgical therapies.
Once a sleep study has been conducted and evaluated, we can discuss your diagnosis and help to decide what treatment option is best for you.
Many patients who have failed to continue the use of their CPAP opt to have a mouth appliance fabricated.
Often times, people that use a CPAP regularly prefer to use a mouth appliance in conjunction; or other times when a CPAP is inconvenient.
What is TAP/PAP Appliance Therapy?
A TAP/PAP appliance is an option for patients who have severe sleep apnea and find the CPAP equipment cumbersome, irritating and/or painful.
Patients find TAP/PAP more comfortable, easier to use and less irritating than the regular CPAP therapy.
The head strap is eliminated in TAP/PAP as well, and the pressure applied to your jaw is also eliminated,
thus making the TAP/PAP option a better choice for sleep apnea sufferers who also have TMJ dysfunction.
Dr. Khan strives to protect your heart health with these sleep apnea treatments, and consults with local sleep medicine physicians for the best options.
Advantages of Sleep Apnea Dental Appliances
For patients with moderate or mild sleep apnea, dental devices are often the preferred treatment option.
Here are some of the advantages they have over CPAP machines and surgical procedures:
According to the American Sleep Association (ASA), CPAP machines can cost as much as $3,000. The average is $850. Dental appliances are much more affordable, especially with insurance.
There’s no surgery required for sleep apnea appliances.
The majority of patients report that dental appliances are more comfortable than CPAP machines. Surgery also causes discomfort.
Easier to use consistently
Since they’re more comfortable, sleep apnea appliances have high compliance.
Some studies show that dental appliances are more effective than surgical therapies.
It’s not fun when your kids have trouble sleeping. You’re both tired throughout the day, and it’s difficult to focus on getting things done.
Sleep apnea can impact children in a variety of ways, from contributing to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other behavioral issues, to impacting development and growth.
Our dentists can help you get your child back to sleep. Her unique training in nursing, sleep apnea and dentistry allows her to evaluate your kids airway as well as their facial growth and development.
Often, Dr. Robin Khan can evaluate how shifting the teeth with orthodontics can improve their sleep.
They can offer your kids a sleep apnea solution, such as the Myobrace® and myofunctional orthodontic appliance systems, as these are intended to prevent further health issues.
Dr. Hoefs of Craniofacial Pain Center also consults with our pediatric cases to help your child improve air flow and resolve restless sleep patterns.
Here are some signs of sleep apnea for kids and ways our dentists may treat it:
Signs Of Kids With Sleep Apnea
According to the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA), as many as 4 percent of children have sleep apnea, and one in every four children with ADHD may have a form of obstructive sleep apnea.
These children are often between the ages of 2 and 8 and suffer from things like bed-wetting, sleepwalking, disruptive behavior and even problems with growth and metabolism.
Fortunately, there are multiple signs for children with sleep apnea.
Here are some of the most common, according to an article in the National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery:
- Snoring and/or difficulty breathing during sleep
- Chronic mouth breathing during sleep
- Night sweats
- Frequently changing sleep positions, or a preference to sleep upright
- Tiredness or trouble paying attention during the day
- Any other signs suggesting ADHD
If you’ve seen one or more of these signs in your child, it’s important to visit Dr. Khan today!
Treating Kids With Sleep Apnea
In the past, surgery was the standard solution for treating sleep apnea in children, but there are more options today.
One of the most popular treatments is the use of oral appliances from the dentist.
Especially helpful in children six or older, these oral devices adjust the tongue or jaw to open up the airway and promote a more restful sleep.
Since children are growing, these devices can be customized or adjusted multiple times. Overall, studies have shown an improved quality of life in children who use these oral devices.
Dr. Khan enjoys helping kids overcome sleep apnea and get back to sleep. She can work with you to ensure the best oral development your child needs to succeed.
Our dentist consults on sleep apnea cases with two local pulmonologists and helps protect your child’s heart health through quality sleep.
We also are affiliated with HealthyStart™, an organization dedicated to providing a permanent solution to your child’s sleep disordered breathing.
To learn more about how we treat kids with sleep apnea in Omaha, Nebraska, please contact Dentistry For Health at 402-932-0282 to schedule an appointment!
Snoring is a nuisance that disturbs your sleeping partner.
Sleep apnea, on the other hand, is a potentially life-threatening problem that can affect your daily life and your health.
Is It Snoring Or Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Snoring is common and relatively harmless. Loud and regular snoring, however, can be problematic.
While snoring involves soft tissue partially blocking the back of your throat, Obstructive Sleep Apnea involves tissue completely blocking the throat. In this situation, there can be no airflow for 10 seconds or more.
The blockage keeps oxygen from reaching your vital organs, including your heart and brain. When the blood-oxygen level drops low enough, the body momentarily wakes up.
Thus, you may feel drained of energy and fatigue. It’s important to identify sleep apnea as soon as possible so you can breathe easy and get a good night’s sleep.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Sleepiness during the day
- Feeling tired immediately after waking up
- Insomnia or fatigue during the night
- Regular, loud snoring
- A sudden feeling or sound of choking while you’re sleeping
A snoring consultation in Omaha with Dr. Khan will help identify whether these problems are just simply snoring, or related to obstructive sleep apnea. She can then treat OSA via a variety of oral appliances.
Sleep Apnea Dentistry has become the best solution for obstructive sleep apnea. If you think you might be at risk, schedule a visit to Dentistry for Health by calling 402-932-0282 today.
Our team strives to protect your heart health with these sleep apnea treatments and consult on cases with two local pulmonologists.