Scenic City Dentistry - Chattanooga, TN

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Snoring & CPAP Intolerance
Do you Snore? Snoring occurs when the muscles that control the tongue and throat relax during sleep, partially blocking the upper airway.

This blockage, combined with the vibration of incoming air, creates the sound of snoring. Loud, chronic snoring may be a sign of a more serious problem - Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA):

  • For patients suffering with OSA, the airway becomes completely blocked and breathing stops.
  • The brain then detects the lack of oxygen and prompts the body to momentarily “wake up” to draw breath.
  • This disruption to sleep can contribute to fatigue and leave the sufferer feeling tired, drowsy and inappropriately sleepy during the day.

The prolonged effects of lack of sleep can lead to slowed responses, memory problems, difficulty in paying attention or concentrating and may also cause performance problems at work.

  • Lack of sleep can cause drowsiness during driving and increase the risk of automobile accidents.

An initial diagnosis for OSA is made by physicians that specialize in sleep medicine.

  • Dr. Reardon may recommend a screening test as part of his dental assessment, and possible referral to medical specialists for a comprehensive sleep study.

OSA Treatment options may include:

CPAP. The most commonly prescribed method of treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) delivers room air under pressure through a nasal mask worn during sleep.

  • Many people get used to the CPAP machine quickly, but some do not. Common side effects include nasal congestion, eye irritation, sinus irritation, skin irritation and gastric distension (air in the stomach).

Oral Appliances. Oral appliance therapy can be an effective alternative for people who are intolerant of breathing machines like CPAP and prefer non-surgical treatment options. They may also be used as first-line treatment for primary snoring that is not associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

  • Oral appliances are devices similar to sport mouthguards; they are worn during sleep to reposition the lower jaw and tongue and permit the airway to remain open, often reducing and even eliminating apneic events.
  • Sometimes oral appliances must be assisted by CPAP to achieve desirable clinical results.

Dr. Reardon works closely with physicians and sleep centers in treating patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Contact Us today for you complete oral health assessment and learn more about OSA.

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Scenic City Dentistry :: Michael Reardon, DMD :: 7030 Lee Highway, Suite 101 :: Chattanooga, TN 37421 :: Ph. (423) 855-5577

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