Sleep-apnea-page-photoTypes of Sleep Apnea

  • Central sleep apnea (CSA), describes breathing which stops because the muscles involved don't receive the proper signal from the brain.
  • The most common form of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and occurs due to a physical blockage, usually the collapsing of the soft tissue in the back of the throat.
  • Mixed/complex sleep apnea is a combination of CSA and OSA.
  • Loud snorers may have a serious case of blocked air passages, known as obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). In these cases, the blockage of air is so great that no air can get through, causing repeated awakenings throughout the night. Obstructive sleep apnea can contribute or lead to many other conditions, such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack and depression, so it is important to be diagnosed by a medical professional if you experience any sleep-related symptoms.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Our office works with both local respiratory pulmonologists to have your home sleep studies completed as well as an independent company who can mail an at home sleep test to you provided your primary care provider signs our request. We will do an oral screening and have you answer some questions which will assist in informing your medical doctor why we feel you should have a home sleep test done. These home sleep studies are covered under your medical insurance/Medicare as Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a medical condition, so no dental benefits will be used.

Once the study is completed and both the respiratory pulmonologist/primary physician and our office receive a copy of the results, we will both coordinate the best treatment for you. Today the two standards of treatment for sleep apnea are CPAP (Controlled Positive Airway Pressure) or OAT (Oral Appliance Therapy) . Both of these treatments are covered under both medical insurance and Medicare.

CPAP involves a machine that forces air through either a face mask or a nasal hood to keep your airway open while you sleep. CPAP machines unfortunately have a 50--60% non-compliance rate due to noise, inability to get used to it while sleeping, claustrophobia, latex allergy, beards/mustaches, and other sleep depriving issues. They are the gold standard for severe sleep apnea and if possible to wear, provide the best therapy for those who suffer severe sleep apnea indexes.

The alternative treatment also covered by medical insurance/Medicare is OAT or oral appliance therapy. This is a custom made upper and lower connected intra-oral device that moves your jaw and tongue forward while you sleep to open up the airway. They are best for mild to moderate sleep apnea indexes and much easier to get used to since its a simple in and out with the appliance at bed and in the morning. No hoses, no cleaning, no replacement of masks, filters and hoses every 4-6 mos and a much quieter and less invasive sleeping experience. We custom fit and adjust each state of the art FDA approved appliance based on your oral anatomy, jaw shape, tongue size, and various other parameters to get the best result. Once we get your fitted and you overall sleeping experience and body feel better, we send you for another in home sleep test this time wearing your appliance, to make sure we have properly treated your sleep apnea and judge this by your index numbers from the test. We have a medical billing company who processes all of the paperwork necessary for oral appliances both as an initial therapy for those who know for sure they would not be able to tolerate CPAP, and CPAP intolerance forms for those who have tried it and just cannot get used to it. Insurance companies want you compliant so they pay for both and accept returns of CPAP machines and will process for an oral appliance after.

In our waiting room we have both a CPAP machine, along with the newest disinfection machine to accompany them, and oral appliances for your viewing. We also have added an educational loop on tv that mostly discusses more in depth all of the issues related to Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Please feel free to set up a free consultation to discuss what you or your bed partner may feel or fear may be experiencing OSA.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

  • Insomnia
  • Loud snoring
  • Choking sounds during sleep
  • Headaches upon waking
  • Sleeping / drowsiness during the day
  • Nocturia (frequent through the night urination trips)
  • GERD (Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disease)

Risk Factors Associated with Sleep Apnea

  • More common in males
  • More common in adults over 40
  • Family history
  • Obesity
  • Smoking / Drinking / Medication
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Neck size
  • Narrow airways due to adenoids 
  • Tonsils
  • Large tounge
  • Palate Shape

Dangers of Untreated Sleep Apnea

  • Fatigue can cause problems at work or school
  • Fatigue inhibits your ability to operate a car
  • Causes general grumpiness
  • Can lead to high blood pressure
  • Can lead to stroke
  • Can cause heart failure
  • Can lead to complications with sedation for medical procedures
  • Bruxism (grinding teeth)
  • Diabetes
  • In Children can lead to learning disorders often misdiagnosed as ADHD
  • Concentration issues affecting school performance 
  • Cognitive & Brain development due to oxygen deprivation to the brain during development. 

Treatments for Sleep Apnea

Treatments for sleep apnea vary widely depending on the severity and type of sleep apnea a person suffers from. Suggested treatments can include:

  • Losing weight
  • Quitting smoking / drinking
  • Eating healthy and controlling blood pressure
  • Sleeping on your side
  • Oral devices
  • Surgery in extreme cases
  • CPAP (breathing machines)

Federici Dental

  • Federici Dental - 1301 Route 72 W. Unit 230, Manahawkin, NJ 08050 Phone: 609-597-1234 Fax: 609-597-8873

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