Sleep apnea can be helped by orthodontic treatment. In some cases, orthodontists are the first medical professionals to recognize the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea in adults and children; they can’t diagnose and treat this condition on their own.
King Orthodontics is qualified to perform an obstructive sleep apnea screening assessment and can refer at-risk patients for diagnostic evaluation. After evaluation, your physician may choose to have your orthodontist work closely with your medical team to help you manage this condition.
What Causes Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a common type of sleep apnea that occurs when your airway becomes blocked by the relaxation of your throat muscles or other airway obstructions. Adults may experience symptoms during sleep such as:
Pauses in breathing.
You may also suffer from non-restorative sleep, frequently waking up at night, excessive sleepiness in the daytime, morning headaches, mood disturbance, and difficulty focusing. You may also struggle with controlling other medical conditions such as obesity, hypertension, or diabetes.
Children with obstructive sleep apnea may experience symptoms during sleep such as:
Pauses in breathing.
They may also sleep in an unusual position, such as with their head hanging off the side of the bed, and they may also appear to be restless while sleeping. Children may also be excessively sleepy during the day, requiring daytime naps after discontinuing daytime napping. Some children may present with hyperactivity rather than sleepiness. Obesity can be a contributor for children, failure to thrive may also be a cause.
How is Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treated?
The most common treatment for this disease in adults is positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy. This type of therapy is delivered through a mask. In some cases, the physician may recommend that the patient change the position of the teeth and supporting structures to help treat obstructive sleep apnea. An American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) orthodontist is qualified to provide this treatment. For other cases, we may recommend special devices for the patient to wear while sleeping that help keep the jaw in a more favorable position. Some patients may require surgery such as:
Hyoid myotomy and suspension to stabilize the airway in the tongue region.
Some patients may also require nerve stimulation to address impaired muscular tone or may require soft tissue surgeries on the adenoids, tonsils, tongue, or frenal. This is a serious condition in adults and children and can cause serious consequences without proper treatment.
Work with King Orthodontics for Your Sleep Apnea Treatment
If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, contact our offices today to make an appointment and start your journey to a healthier, more comfortable life!