Sleep apnea, in which a person stops breathing repeatedly during sleep, doesn’t just reduce your quality of life. It’s also been linked with serious health risks, like high blood pressure, stroke and heart issues. This condition also may cause morning headaches and daytime drowsiness, which can interfere with your ability to focus on your work and to drive.
This problem occurs when the airway is partially obstructed during sleep, and airflow is restricted as a result. This reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood, which contributes to those serious consequences listed above.
The first step to addressing sleep apnea is to get an official diagnosis. Patients who are experiencing symptoms like loud snoring, noticeable pauses in breathing during sleep and morning headaches or sore throats should complete a sleep study to confirm the condition.
Depending on the specific conditions that are causing the obstruction, patients may consult with our oral surgeons to get treatment for this issue. For example, the patient may have excess tissue at the rear of the throat that collapses and blocks the airway opening.
Mild sleep apnea may respond to a minimally invasive procedure that uses lasers to remove the excess tissue.
If the positioning of the jaw increases the likelihood of airway obstruction, then the jaw may be the target of the surgery.
The apnea often can be resolved with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, but many patients find it difficult to tolerate wearing the mask at night and find that doing so interferes with their sleep.
Even if you don’t have true apnea but are bothered by loud, disruptive snoring, our oral surgeons may also be able offer an intervention that addresses your issues. A procedure can reduce vibrations at the back of the throat that cause snoring.
Sleep apnea is correlated with a number of serious health problems, so getting effective treatment can protect your overall well-being. Talk to our oral surgeons to learn about the various interventions and the risks and benefits of each.
Call our team at 817-552-3223 and set up a consultation with one of our caring oral surgeons.