Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment/Appliance
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which one experiences one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. Sleep apnea can be treated with lifestyle changes, Oral Appliance Therapy, breathing devices, and/or surgery.
Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) is often an effective treatment option for sleep apnea. With this approach, our office creates a custom-fitted oral appliance for patients to wear when they are sleeping. The appliance aids patients during sleep by positioning the lower jaw and tongue in a way that minimizes airway obstruction.
For moderate to severe sleep apnea, a breathing device called CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) or surgery to widen the breathing passages by shrinking, stiffening, or removing excess tissue in the mouth and throat or resetting the lower jaw may be helpful.
A CPAP machine uses a mask that fits over your mouth and/or nose and gently blows air into your throat. This air pressure helps keep your airway open while you sleep.
Surgery to shrink the tissue involves a small shot into the breathing passages. Surgery to stiffen excess tissue requires a small incision in the tissue and the insertion of a piece of stiff plastic.