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Sleep Apnea


A sleep apnea oral appliance on light blue backgroundSleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders in the United States. As of 2023, about 30 million Americans are believed to have sleep apnea, and 80% of this population haven’t been diagnosed. This disorder causes particular concern, as it can be severe, potentially life-threatening, and mostly undetectable by those with sleep apnea. It can also have a staggering effect on your quality of life, affecting your wakefulness and future health outcomes.

At Dallas Oral Surgery Associates, our latest diagnostic technology can help you properly diagnose sleep apnea. In some instances, surgical intervention may be the only way to address persistent symptoms. As an oral and maxillofacial surgical practice, we typically reserve these treatments for moderate to severe cases of sleep apnea.

What Is Sleep Apnea?


Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which the upper airway becomes repeatedly blocked, causing breathing to stop and start as you sleep. This disorder results in breathing cessations anywhere from five times an hour up to hundreds of times in one night. These interruptions prevent adequate oxygen from reaching the brain and body, momentarily rousing you from sleep. If you are prone to loud snoring or feel tired even after a full night of sleep, you might consider scheduling a sleep exam to determine if you have sleep apnea.

There are three main types of sleep apnea:
•  Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): This disorder is characterized by the throat muscles relaxing and restricting the airway. It is the most common form of sleep apnea.
•  Central sleep apnea (CSA): This disorder is characterized by the brain failing to send the autonomic signals to the muscles that control your breathing.
•  Complex sleep apnea: Also known as treatment-emergent sleep apnea, this disorder appears when OSA becomes CSA. This usually occurs as a result of using Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).

Certain criteria and habits can put patients at risk for OSA and CSA. These include, but are not limited to:
•  Gender: Men are 2-3 times more likely to develop sleep apnea.
•  Age: OSA and CSA are most common in older patients.
•  Excess weight: When sleeping on your back, the presence of fat deposits around the neck and upper airway can restrict breathing.
•  Smoking, alcohol, and medications: These substances can relax the muscles, increase inflammation, and depress the respiratory system.

Diagnosis Of Sleep Apnea


During your consultation, our surgeons will discuss the causes and severity of your sleep apnea. In many cases, patients arriving at our office to address sleep apnea have already been diagnosed by a somnologist, or a doctor specializing in sleep disorders, before being referred to our office. Typically, we resort to treating sleep apnea with surgical intervention only after all other non-invasive treatment options have been exhausted.

Surgical Options For Sleep Apnea


Our team offers a variety of surgical options to address and treat sleep apnea. Some of these options include:
•  Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP): This treatment involves removing excess tissue from the pharynx and soft palate. It is one of the most common surgeries used for treating sleep apnea.
•  Nasal surgery: This treatment involves creating more room in the nose to address nasal obstruction or congestion.
•  Soft palate implants: Also known as the Pillar Procedure, this treatment involves placing three polyester rods into the soft palate to stiffen the area, prevent the palate from relaxing, and ultimately prevent contact with the pharynx.
•  Hyoid advancement: This treatment involves expanding the airway and preventing collapse by repositioning the hyoid, a small bone in the neck.
•  Tongue advancement: This treatment involves keeping the tongue from falling back into the throat during sleep by pulling forward the tongue muscle that is connected to the lower jaw.
•  Lower jaw advancement: This treatment involves surgically moving the lower jaw forward, allowing more room around the upper airway.
•  Tracheostomy: This treatment involves creating an additional passageway through the trachea to allow air to reach the lungs directly.

If non-surgical treatments and sleeping aides have failed to alleviate your sleep apnea symptoms, you may benefit from surgical intervention. Call our office today at 214-363-9946 to schedule your consultation appointment!

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Sleep Apnea • Oral Surgeon North Dallas
At Dallas Oral Surgery Associates, we can help properly diagnose your sleep apnea using the latest diagnostic technology.
Dallas Oral Surgery Associates, 8315 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite 225, Dallas, TX 75231 | 214-363-9946 | dallasoralsurgeryassociates.com | 5/18/2024 | Related Phrases: dental implants North Dallas |