Sleep Apnea Appliances
Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition in which the airway is compromised while sleeping. This reduces the oxygen saturation in the body. Signs include snoring, episodes of breathing cessation, gasping for air during sleep, morning headache, insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, irritability, and awakening with a dry mouth. It can result in a lack of attention and vigilance, memory impairment, and reduction in executive function. If tolerated long term, it may lead to medical conditions such as hypertension (elevated bold pressure), heart attack, diabetes, stroke, or sudden cardiac death.
There are several ways to help the condition, all of which involve improving the quality of sleep breathing. Simple measures may include weight loss and exercise to improve cardiac fitness. Other measures include surgery to open the airway, positive pressure airway devices (CPAP machines) and oral appliances.
Oral sleep apnea appliances are beneficial for mild to moderate sleep apnea. They work by moving the lower jaw forward to reposition the tongue so that it cannot fall back and block the airway. Dr. Abey and Dr. Bishop have the knowledge and experience to work with your sleep medicine physician and to construct an appliance that works for you. As with any condition of this gravity, follow up and check-in appointments are important with both the prescribing doctor and the treating prosthodontist.