Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) occurs when the tongue and soft palate collapse onto the back of the throat. This blocks the upper airway causing air flow to stop. When the oxygen level drops low enough, the brain moves out of deep sleep and the individual partially awakens. The airway then contracts and opens causing the obstruction in the throat to clear. The flow of air starts again, usually with a loud gasp. When the air flow starts again the individual then moves back into a deep sleep. The cycle can repeat itself many times a night. The low oxygen levels and fragmented sleep often contribute to many serious health complications, including heart problems (heart attack, congestive heart failure, hypertension) and strokes, as well as increasing the incidence of work related and driving related accidents.
Since OSA is a serious medical condition, it must be diagnosed by a physician. Diagnosis is based on the results of an overnight sleep study, either a Polysomnogram (PSG) in a lab or a Home Sleep Study (HST). Other factors determining OSA are patient evaluation and history.
With mild to moderate cases of OSA, oral appliance therapy can be recommended. Even with severe OSA, if a patient is unable to use a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine, oral appliance therapy may be an option. As a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Sevey works with sleep physicians to determine the best course of therapy for patients with OSA. Oral appliances are worn in the mouth during sleep. These appliances maintain an opened, unobstructive airway in the throat by moving the lower jaw forward.
For more information on sleep apnea treatment in Bangor Maine or surrounding areas, contact us today at Creative Dental Solutions.
**We are now a Medicare approved provider for sleep apnea oral appliances!**
Click HERE to complete patient forms for a sleep consultation with Dr. Sevey.
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