Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sedation & General Dentistry in Winston-Salem, NC
People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have disrupted sleep patterns and low blood oxygen levels. When obstructive sleep apnea occurs, the tongue is positioned against the back of the throat. This blocks the upper airway and airflow stops. When the oxygen level in the brain becomes low enough, the sleeper partially awakens, the obstruction in the throat clears, and the flow of air starts again, usually with a loud gasp.
Repeated cycles of decreased oxygenation lead to very serious cardiovascular problems. Additionally, these individuals can suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, depression, and loss of concentration.
The first step in treatment resides in recognition of the symptoms and seeking appropriate consultation. To confirm the amount of cardiovascular compromise and decreased oxygenation levels, a sleep study may be recommended to monitor an individual overnight.
There are several treatment options available. An initial treatment may consist of using a nasal CPAP machine that delivers pressurized oxygen through a nasal mask to limit obstruction at night. Additionally, Dr's. Pruitt, Miller, Stowe, Steinbicker and Taylor can assess whether a sleep apnea device may be of benefit to you. These appliances function by advancing your mandible (lower jaw) forward slightly when you sleep in an effort to keep your airway open so normal breathing can occur.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a very serious condition that needs careful attention and treatment. Most major medical plans offer coverage for diagnosis and treatment. Call us today to schedule your consultation and find out what options are available to you.