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Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) for the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) has evolved from the mid 1990's into therapy today that can so effectively treat OSA that according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medcine OAT has become the first choice for mild to moderate disease.  CPAP therapy remains the treatment of choice for those with severe OSA and those with comorbidities while OAT is indicated in those severe OSA cases where there exists CPAP intolerance.    


The Links above when followed will provide varied information on Sleep Apnea, the different types, how it is diagnosed and what treatment options exist.  Topics range from CPAP Therapy, alternative Oral Appliance Therapy, and for more difficult cases Combination Therapy.  With all the options we have available today it is rare that we are unable to improve a patient's health, especially if they are as motivated to make that improvment as we are to put things in place towards that outcome.  We look forward to working with your other healthcare providers in that effort.  Information regarding dentistry is also available through following the Dental Information Link.  Use your browser back arrow to navigate back to the previous page.

The Greek word "apnea" literally means "without breath." Sleep Apnea is an involuntary cessation of breathing that occurs while the patient is asleep. There are three types of Sleep Apnea: Obstructive, Central, and Mixed. Of the three, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, often called OSA for short, is the most common. Despite the difference in the root cause of each type, in all three, people with untreated Sleep Apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer. In most cases the sleeper is unaware of these breath stoppages because they don't trigger a full awakening.   Left untreated, Sleep Apnea can have serious and life-shortening consequences: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, automobile accidents caused by falling asleep at the wheel, diabetes, depression, and other ailments.  Sleep Apnea is seen more frequently among men than among women, particularly African-American and Hispanic men. A major symptom is extremely loud snoring, sometimes so loud that bed partners find it intolerable. Other indications that Sleep Apnea may be present are obesity, persistent daytime sleepiness, bouts of awakening out of breath during the night, and frequently waking in the morning with a dry mouth or a headache. But not all of these symptoms are always present. Only a Sleep Study in a sleep laboratory or a Home Sleep Study (HST)  can show definitively that Sleep Apnea is present and how severe it is.  Obstructive Sleep Apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep. In Central Sleep Apnea,  the airway is not blocked but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe. Mixed Sleep Apnea, as the name implies, is a combination of the two. With each apnea event, the brain rouses the sleeper, usually only partially, to signal breathing to resume. As a result, the patient's sleep is extremely fragmented and of poor quality.  Sleep Apnea is as common as type 2 diabetes! It affects more than 18 million Americans, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Risk factors include being male, overweight, and over the age of 40, but Sleep Apnea can strike anyone at any age, even children. As a matter of fact there is an orthodontic movement that at the same time the teeth and jaws are being treated efforts are made to develop the airway.  Yet still because of the lack of awareness by the public and health care professionals, the vast majority of Sleep Apnea patients remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated, despite the fact that this serious disorder can have significant consequences.  Untreated, Sleep Apnea can also cause high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotence, and headaches. Moreover, untreated Sleep Apnea may be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle crashes. Fortunately, Sleep Apnea can be diagnosed and treated. Several Treatment Options exist, and research into additional options continues.  Click Dental Appliances to understand how this method has become an alternative to CPAP, an approach that can be used along side CPAP, or in certain situations the treatment of choice as recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.


Migraine and Headache Pain:  Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding or teeth clenching, is the third most common sleep disorder in both adults and children. It’s a worldwide phenomenon that occurs in every race, socio-economic level and in both male and female. 15 to 38% of young children and 5-20% of adults brux. Today statistics show that one out of every four patients has bruxism and that a statisically very high number of those with bruxism and worn teeth also have the more dangerous Obstructive Sleep Apnea and should be tested for Sleep Disturbed Breathing.  Many of those with headache pain and migraines either take over the counter pain meds or perscription pain meds that serves to only treat the symptoms leaving the potentially life threating sleep disorder undiagnosed.  Click the picture above for information regarding the Migraine, Headache and the NTI Pain Suppression System or  Read more about bruxism here.


Proper Diagnosis & Monitoring Remains Critical
In Lab Study - The Gold Standard

Home Sleep Testing - The NoxT3

Home Sleep Testing - The WatchPat

Sleep & Bruxism Screening

The Reason Testing & Treatment Is So Critical