If you have been having trouble with sleep or struggle with sleepiness during the day, you may have sleep disordered breathing (SDB). The first step to diagnosing the nature and severity of the problem is to go for a sleep study with a sleep medicine specialist. Your physician will be able to coordinate this referral for you and facilitate communication with us as well. Once you have been diagnosed, there are several treatment options that may or may not be appropriate for you depending on the severity of your condition:
Posture Modification: Changing the position you sleep in at night can help open up your airway significantly.
Weight Loss and Diet: Losing some weight will decrease the amount of pressure on your airway and lungs, making breathing easier. Avoiding alcohol and other sedatives in the evening will also help.
Surgery: Removal of some of the tissue in the back of the throat/palate can sometimes improve breathing but this type of procedure is often performed only on patients that do not respond to less invasive therapy.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP): A CPAP machine is quite effective at improving the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea if a person is able to tolerate it. It works by forcing air continuously into the lungs to keep the airway open. Some patients love this therapy but many do not.
Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD): A dental device designed to bring the jaw forward and maximize the opening of the airway. At Okanagan Dentistry we can work with your sleep medicine specialist to determine if a MAD is appropriate for you. Sometimes we fabricate a MAD which you can wear in combination with a CPAP to improve your breathing even more.
Sleep Appliance Design
At Okanagan Dentistry we use a MAD called the D-SAD. This device is preferred for many reasons. It is the only dental sleep appliance that is 3D printed in a very thin, strong material that is both flexible and durable; it even comes with a 5 year warranty! It is also extremely adjustable in as little as 0.5mm increments to provide the lowest amount of advancement while still effectively opening the airway. To find out more about this amazing appliance visit http://www.snoringpanthera.com/dsad.
Having Trouble With Your CPAP Machine?
Many of our sleep apnea patients are unable to tolerate a CPAP machine. The first line for breathing issues during sleep is always to trial the CPAP and it is a very effective treatment. If you have done this but cannot sleep with the device you may be an excellent candidate for a MAD. Call us to discuss what would be the best treatment combination for your needs!