Do you snore, or are you suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
OSA is a chronic, medical, Sleep Breathing Disorder that is characterized by repeated episodes in which the tongue, soft palate and other related tissues collapse the upper airway during sleep, reducing the amount of oxygen delivered to the lungs.
Because sleep apnea stops you from breathing, sometimes hundreds of times a night and for up to two minutes at a time, it causes a drop in blood oxygen levels. Your body realizes it could die from lack of oxygen, the fight or flight startle response is triggered, and with a gasp, you wake up. This process places a lot of stress on your heart and raises blood pressure. In addition, the adrenaline released affects cortisol levels – and a cortisol imbalance can lead to dramatic weight gain!
Sleep apnea also keeps you from properly entering REM sleep, the most restorative stage of nightly sleep. Without REM sleep, the brain begins to function less optimally, affecting your memory, your ability to recognize mistakes, your mood, your ability to cope with stress, and even the way you process pain.
A study by the Institute of Medicine reports that 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from disorders of sleep and wakefulness. The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine notes that over 18 Million Americans have OSA.Treatments
When diagnosis is established from a sleep study a medical doctor will generally prescribe, a CPAP device. The CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy device is considered the gold-standard of OSA therapy and some people do well with them, finding instant relief and comfort.
Others find sleeping with a mask forcing air into their throats very difficult. Still, others have mild enough sleep apnea or snoring that they don’t need a CPAP but could benefit from deeper sleep and better oxygen intake – an oral appliance may seem a little bit more mysterious. How can a tiny oral appliance keep your airway from closing – especially when you are fast asleep.
Although there are many different ways to treat sleep apnea, we work with your physicians to help treat you with the two most common therapies.
Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)
Oral appliance therapy is a treatment for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. It involves wearing a removable oral appliance in your mouth as you sleep. The device fits much like a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
Patients with obstructive sleep apnea treated with CPAP wear a face mask during sleep which is connected to a pump (CPAP machine) that forces air into the nasal passages at pressures high enough to overcome obstructions in the airway and stimulate normal breathing.
It’s actually pretty simple:
Both snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are caused by a collapse of the soft tissues or the tongue into the airway, blocking it and keeping you from taking a proper breath. But more and more research is showing that oral appliances like work amazingly well by gently advancing your lower jaw and keeping it in a slightly forward position.
Dr. Zapatero has been practicing sleep medicine for the last 20 years and watch the industry mature and vastly improve the options available to patients who snore or suffer to OSA. We utilizes the most advanced oral sleep apnea appliances on the market to get you a good night sleep. The appliances are now smaller and better fitting. There are many options in appliances but we only offer appliances from the leaders in the field.