Sleep Apnea Doctor Orlando FL
Dr. Martinez offers dental solutions that help with sleep apnea problems to his patients in Ocoee & Orlando Florida.
There are many conditions that can benefit from oral appliance therapy such as sleep apnea and clenching and grinding of the teeth. Similarly oral appliance therapy can be utilized to protect the teeth from traumatic injury during contact sporting events or to close an opening in the roof of the mouth.
In more severe cases of snoring, the airway can become completely blocked causing breathing to stop. As oxygen levels in the blood drop below normal, the brain is triggered causing the person to awaken. The cessation of breathing followed by awakening can occur hundreds of times during the course of a person’s sleep cycle. This condition, known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea affects 12 million Americans according to the National Institutes of Health and can lead to other conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke as well as increased likelihood of motor vehicle and work related accidents.
In more severe cases of snoring, the airway can become completely blocked causing breathing to stop. As oxygen levels in the blood drop below normal, the brain is triggered causing the person to awaken. The cessation of breathing followed by awakening can occur hundreds of time during the course of a person’s sleep cycle. This condition, known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea affects 12 million Americans according to the National Institutes of Health and can lead to other conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke as well as increased likelihood of motor vehicle and work related accidents.
In addition to developing good diet, exercise and bedtime habits, treatments for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine
- An Oral Repositioning Appliance
- Surgical modification of the upper airway
Oral repositioning appliances are removable appliances, similar to orthodontic retainers or mouthguards, and are worn during sleep. An oral repositioning appliance works by repositioning the lower jaw to open the upper airway and allow for adequate air intake.
They may be used alone or along with other forms of treatment such as the CPAP machine and/or surgery. Additionally, oral repositioning appliances can provide relief for patients unable to tolerate the CPAP machine.
The advantages of oral appliance therapy include the following:
- It is a reversible and non-invasive treatment option
- There is a short adjustment period relative to alternative treatments
- It can be adjusted to further open the airway or to improve retention
A Prosthodontist is a specialty dentist that has been formally trained in the construction of oral appliances and who has an advanced understanding of the jaw joint and related structures. Your prosthodontist will work in collaboration with your physician to determine your therapeutic needs and concerns and will continue to monitor your response to treatment.
An occlusal guard is a removable dental appliance constructed as a palliative measure for patients with a history of clenching and grinding habits with the goal being to minimize tooth wear.
Because clenching and grinding the teeth is (in most cases) an unconscious habit, it is impossible to turn off the signals to the chewing muscles that transmit the destructive forces involved in clenching and grinding. An occlusal guard is a custom designed appliance constructed to match the opposing tooth contacts and is to be worn while sleeping to limit any abrasive wear to the removable appliance therefore protecting the teeth.
An oral obturator is a removable appliance constructed to fill in an opening in the palate or roof of the mouth. Individuals with palatal openings present difficulty with chewing and swallowing food or liquid as well as the enunciation of speech sounds. The functionality of the obturator appliance allows for an individual to eat comfortably and improves speech. The anatomical anomalies that create the openings in the palate could be formed as a result of genetic disruptions in growth and development (such as cleft palate) or as a result of a resection following treatment for cancer.
Sleep apnea can be a serious sleep disorder. People who have it actually stop breathing for 10 to 30 seconds at a time while they sleep, several times during the night. A majority of sleep apnea patients use an air-blowing mask to help them breathe while they sleep. But now, a special dental appliance may help treat this disorder.
Though it looks like a sports mouth guard, the top and bottom are joined together. This holds the bottom jaw forward, preventing the tongue from relaxing into the airway during sleep. The process to make the appliance is similar to other orthodontic work. Since it’s less bulky, patients are more apt to use it. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine published guidelines on the use of oral appliances for sleep apnea. The devices are appropriate for mild to moderate sleep obstructive sleep apnea patients. Please contact Dr. Martinez for a consultation for sleep apnea at 407-656-8080.