25 January, 2023
| premier center for oral dental implant facial surgery

Achieve a Healthy and Restful Sleep Each Night

Your body and mind need adequate rest at night to function optimally every day. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) disrupts your sleep, resulting in irregular breathing and low blood oxygen levels. In addition to leaving you feeling tired throughout the day, this serious condition increases the risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke.

At Premier Center for Oral, Dental Implant & Facial Surgery, Dr. Garibyan and Dr. Kuang offer surgical and nonsurgical treatments for sleep apnea that promote your safety and comfort. By undergoing treatment from a board-certified oral surgeon, you can ensure proper airflow during sleep and prevent health problems associated with sleep apnea. Contact our office in Massachusetts for an airway assessment and evaluation from our skilled surgeons.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing stops and starts repeatedly. It occurs when there is an obstruction in the airway, which results in decreased airflow. This causes the brain’s oxygen level to decrease until the sleeper wakes up, typically with a loud gasping sound, to clear the obstruction. Repeating this cycle every night can be hard on the heart and brain and, if left untreated, can lead to serious cardiovascular problems.

Types of Sleep Apnea

There are three types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This is the most common form of sleep apnea and occurs when there is an obstruction in the airway, thereby restricting airflow to the brain. Once oxygen levels are too low, the brain forces you to wake up and open your airway. Most people with OSA will wake up and fall back asleep without remembering doing so the next day.
  • Central Sleep Apnea. This is when the brain fails to send signals to muscles that regulate breathing. You are able to breathe, but your brain doesn’t tell your muscles to breathe. Lapses in breathing can last as long as 20 seconds, and often, those suffering from this sleep disorder will remember their inability to stay asleep the next day.
  • Complex Sleep Apnea. This is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

A great way to find out the type of sleep apnea you have is to undergo an airway assessment in conjunction with a sleep study that is performed either at home or at a designated sleep center. Based on the airway assessment and sleep study results, Dr. Garibyan and Dr. Kuang will discuss the treatment options that will be best suited for your condition.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

The most common sign of sleep apnea is snoring. Other signs are unnoticed by the individual and are reported by a bed partner. If you experience any of these signs, or have been told by others that you exhibit these symptoms, we recommend contacting us for an airway evaluation:

  • Breathing interruptions during sleep
  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up suddenly, often gasping for breath
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Morning headaches
  • Daytime drowsiness, fatigue, or irritability, even after a full night of sleep

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

When you visit our office, we may take 3D scans of your face and neck to evaluate the structure of your throat and nasal passages. Nonsurgical treatment will be recommended first, as many patients respond positively to these measures. If they do not achieve the desired results, a surgical approach may be necessary. Prior to any type of procedure, we will discuss your anesthesia options and help you select the appropriate choice for your surgery, level of anxiety, and financial situation.

Initial treatment may consist of a CPAP machine, which delivers pressurized oxygen through a mask, or a mouth guard to wear at night. If these methods do not correct the issue and you are still unable to achieve healthy sleep, we may recommend surgery.

Orthognathic surgery, or jaw surgery, involves repositioning the jaws. When used to treat sleep apnea, this can also be called maxillomandibular advancement (MMA) surgery. This opens the airway and can promote healthier breathing, correct bite problems, and alleviate TMJ pain. This is a complex surgical procedure and is often only recommended for severe obstructive sleep apnea cases.

Other surgical options include:

  • Nasal surgery to clear obstructions and widen the nasal passages
  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) to remove excess tissue in the palate and throat
  • Genioglossus Advancement (GGA) to move the tongue forward and tighten it, preventing it from collapsing backward during sleep
  • Hyoid suspension to reposition the small bone above the Adam’s apple, expanding the airway

Given the type and severity of sleep apnea that you have, your oral surgeon will discuss the treatment options that are most appropriate for you so that you can make an informed decision.

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Sleep Apnea Treatment in Massachusetts

If you suffer from sleep apnea, our team at Premier Center for Oral, Dental Implant & Facial Surgery is here to help. We perform airway evaluations to assess your condition and offer a variety of treatments to fit your specific needs. Contact our practice today for an evaluation and to start your journey on a healthier, more restful sleep.