Sleep apnea impacts nearly every system in your body, including your brain, your heart, your kidneys, and more. The consequences of untreated sleep apnea are serious, deadly, even. But, fortunately, there are many successful treatment options for sleep apnea. And evidence indicates that many of the negative effects of sleep apnea can be reversed with proper treatment. With the variety of treatments available, most people can find a treatment option that is comfortable, convenient, and effective.
The best way to learn which sleep apnea treatment is right for you is to talk to your doctor or a sleep dentist. To schedule an appointment with sleep dentist Dr. Marlen Martirossian, please call 201-546-8512 or email the River Edge Dental Center for TMJ, Sleep Apnea, & Reconstructive Dentistry.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the gold standard of sleep apnea treatment. It is 100% effective, but not everyone adapts to it.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy works by repositioning your jaw to keep your airway open. For most people it works as well as CPAP, but is more comfortable and convenient.
Myofunctional therapy works to create long-term changes in your jaw structure and airway. The goal is to dramatically reduce the need for treatment–or even cure sleep apnea completely.
Home Care for Sleep Apnea
Home care for sleep apnea is only appropriate for mild sleep apnea, or as an adjunct therapy for other sleep apnea treatments. The home care described under snoring treatment is also appropriate for sleep apnea.
CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is the most commonly prescribed sleep apnea treatment. CPAP uses a pump to force air into the airway via a mask. It is considered the “gold standard” of sleep apnea care because it is highly effective and it works on all types and severities of sleep apnea.
The main limitation of CPAP is that many people find it uncomfortable and disruptive. They cannot adapt to using this treatment and seek a more comfortable alternative.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy has only recently been recognized as a high effective sleep apnea treatment. It works by repositioning the jaw so that the airways are less likely to collapse at night. Most insurance companies will now pay for oral appliance therapy.
Oral appliance therapy is usually considered more comfortable and convenient sleep apnea treatment, which makes it a perfect option for people who can’t adjust to CPAP. Oral appliance therapy is not considered a front-line treatment for severe sleep apnea.
Myofunctional therapy tries to address the underlying causes of obstructive sleep apnea. If the jaw is underdeveloped or retruded, the airway is more susceptible to collapse. Myofunctional therapy strives to alter the muscular habits that contribute to underdevelopment or malposition of the jaw.
The jaw system is a complex combination of muscles, joints, bones, and teeth. These elements depend on one another and develop together, but the muscles are the key. The muscles have the power to bend the rest of the elements to suit them.
Myofunctional therapy takes advantage of this. By retraining the muscles, it works to put the entire system into a healthier state. This can have many positive effects, including a reduction or elimination of sleep apnea, improvement of TMJ, and potentially eliminating the need for orthodontic treatment.
Sleep Apnea Surgery
Sleep apnea surgery is performed to alter the size and shape of your airway. Although sleep apnea surgery can be effective, it is not usually considered a frontline sleep apnea treatment because it has a lower success rate, a higher relapse rate, and more complications than other sleep apnea treatments.
However, if other sleep apnea treatments do not prove successful or are just not suitable for you, sleep apnea surgery might be the right choice.
Which Sleep Apnea Treatment Is Right for You?
If you have decided which sleep apnea treatment you think might be best for you, or if you want someone to talk to about your options, please call 201-546-8512 or email the River Edge Dental Center for TMJ, Sleep Apnea, & Reconstructive Dentistry today.