Snoring And Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Ask your Dentist about Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Snoring, Teeth Grinding, and Daytime Sleepiness (among other symptoms) can be symptoms of a potentially deadly condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Dentists can play a key role in screening for and treating this condition.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
OSA is a potentially deadly condition that affects the ability to breathe while asleep. While sleeping the muscles of the pharynx and the tongue relax and can close the airway. This cuts off the supply of oxygen to the body and lowers the body’s oxygen levels to the point that body will wake up– most of the time very briefly and unconsciously – in order to recommence proper breathing.
What are the symptoms?
Daytime Sleepiness, Night Time Bruxism (Teeth Grinding), Weight gain/Obesity, Hypertension, Acid Reflux, Insulin Resistance, Psychiatric problems, LV Dysfunction (Heart Problems), Snoring
What conditions are associated with untreated OSA?
Hypertension, Angina/Heart Attacks, Strokes, Pulmonary Hypertension, Erectile dysfunction, Nocturnal cardiac arrhythmias, Car Accidents and other injuries, Chronic headaches and decreased cognitive functioning, Premature mortality, and more.
Who can diagnose OSA?
A dentist can screen for OSA, but only a physician, trained in the diagnosis of sleep disordered breathing, can diagnose OSA based on a sleep study completed in a hospital setting, or at home.
How can OSA be treated?
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)
A nose or facemask worn while sleeping that forces the airway open by blowing air into the nose and/or mouth. In those that can wear it consistently, this will work nearly 100% of the time. However, compliance rates can be as low as 50% of patients, due to ill fitting CPAP masks.
Once a diagnosis of OSA has been confirmed, a physician may prescribe an oral appliance for OSA. If OSA is ruled out, an Oral Appliance may be prescribed by the physician for snoring only. A dentist cannot treat OSA or snoring without the prescription for an appliance by a physician.
Is Oral Appliance therapy recommended?
Canadian Thoracic Society Guidelines (2006) advise that Oral Appliance therapy for OSA is appropriate for mild to moderate cases of OSA with minimal daytime symptoms, and for those patients who cannot tolerate CPAP. Fleetham et al. Can Respir J Vol 13 No 7 October 2006
What types of Oral Appliance Therapy are available?
Continuous Open Airway Therapy (COAT)
A variety of simple oral appliances (e.g. SomnoDent appliance) can comfortably hold the lower jaw forward, and sometimes control the tongue, in order to open the airway. These appliances are often successful for mild to moderate OSA. It can also be used in combination with a CPAP mask to reduce the pressures required to treat severe OSA.
The DNA Appliance
The DNA Appliance is a removable appliance worn in the evening and all night while sleeping. It has been shown to increase the size of the upper airway, and may help in decreasing the need for CPAP or Oral Appliances in the future.
Expansion of the upper jaw and advancement of the lower jaw are often part of orthodontic treatment, and can benefit some patients with small upper airways in their experience of OSA.
Are payment plans available?
Yes! These will vary with the treatment modality. We are also happy to work with your Dental Insurance to minimize your out of pocket expense.
Are other treatment options for OSA available?
No alcohol consumption before bed, Quit Smoking, Exercise, Healthy Eating, Weight Loss
Sleeping on your side can decrease the severity of OSA in some cases.
Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy are often successful. Other surgeries involding the soft palate anduvula are becoming less popular.
Contact Us Today If You Suspect You are Suffering from Snoring or Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
If you are experiencing OSA or snoring symptoms, contact us today to discuss your options.