Obstructive sleep apnea is an ongoing condition that disrupts sleep.
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which a patient experiences one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. The sleep disruption caused by sleep apnea can negatively impact your quality of sleep, leaving you tired and irritable.
Mild sleep apnea can often be treated with lifestyle changes such as losing weight, positional therapy, or oral appliance therapy that helps maintain an open airway while you sleep. For moderate to severe sleep apnea, a breathing device called CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) 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.
Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)
Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) is often an effective alternative to CPAP for patients suffering from obstructive 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.