Sleep apnea occurs when a person repeatedly stops and restarts breathing in their sleep. If left untreated, it can lead to serious problems such as heart attack, diabetes, depression, and cognitive disorders. There are many things that cause sleep apnea, and doctors choose a treatment based on the cause. The sooner a patient begins treatment, the less likely they are to suffer from complications of sleep apnea. These are some of the most common procedures:
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP is a treatment that requires the patient to wear a mask at night. The mask is attached to a machine that delivers a constant flow of air into the nose. This constant flow keeps the airways open and prevents the patient from experiencing sleep apnea. People who use CPAP machines sleep better and wake up feeling well-rested. CPAP machines can be used to treat many different types of sleep apnea and can be used long-term.
Some types of sleep apnea are caused by an obstruction in the airway caused by extra teeth, large teeth, or teeth that have not grown into the right positions. Dental procedures can remove the teeth or move them, so they no longer obstruct the airways. Some dentists can also prescribe devices that are worn in the mouth to keep the airway open.
For people who have sleep apnea caused by obstructions in the throat or airways, surgery may be a treatment option. Surgery can remove the tonsils and adenoids, or help open up the airways so air can pass into the lungs more easily. Other causes of sleep apnea that can be corrected with surgery include a deviated septum, facial deformities, and soft tissue growths on the palate. There are also minimally invasive options that help stiffen the palate, so it is less likely to relax and block the airway while a person is sleeping.
If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, don’t wait to seek treatment! The longer you wait, the more severe it may become and the more likely you are to be at risk for complications. Dr. Bhandaru can diagnose sleep apnea and help you choose the right treatment.
If you think you need a dental exam, or would like to inquire more about this procedure, call Carrollton Smiles in Carrollton, TX and speak to one of our helpful staff members! We will be happy to assist you.