What is Sleep Apnea?
If you have experienced trouble breathing while you are sleeping, snoring, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, or headaches, you may have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted while they are sleeping. This causes a lack of oxygen to the brain and other parts of the body.
There are two types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea: Blockage of the airway caused by soft tissue collapsing in the back of the throat.
- Central sleep apnea: The brain fails to signal the body to breathe properly.
If left untreated, this sleep disorder can lead to more serious health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, heart failure, or stroke.
Treatment for sleep apnea:
- CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)-machine that delivers pressurized air through a mask that is worn while sleeping.
- Mandibular Advancement device- an oral device that is worn in the mouth which advances the mandible (lower jaw) forward to keep the airway open during sleep.
Studies have shown that up to 80% of sleep apnea patients are unable to tolerate wearing a CPAP device while sleeping for various reasons: discomfort, leaking mask, maintenance of the machine and equipment, and cost.
Patients who have mild or moderate sleep apnea may find that a mandibular advancement device is a better alternative to help treat their sleep apnea. We work with some of the nation’s top dental laboratories, like Glidewell Laboratories, to create custom mandibular advancement devices for our patients.
Dr. David Yu has personal experience with sleep apnea. He was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2000. He used the CPAP for many years and finally stopped because he was unable to sleep well with the mask on. Dr. Yu had a custom mandibular advancement device made. The mandibular advancement device was much more comfortable to wear while sleeping. Dr. Yu is thankful for this technology and wants to help all his patients with sleep apnea achieve better quality sleep.