When patients experience frequent pauses in breathing during sleep, it is known as sleep apnea, a serious condition that requires prompt attention and treatment. Depending on your condition, nonsurgical or surgical treatment options may be considered and offered by your doctor. If a physician refers you to one of our oral surgeons for treatment, we will perform a full consultation and examination to determine the treatment option that works for you.
It is not uncommon for a partner or roommate to notice the symptoms of sleep apnea before the sufferer since the person is asleep during these episodes. Frequent pauses in breathing (called apneas) while asleep are the main symptom of sleep apnea. Some other symptoms of sleep apnea include the following:
- Snoring (usually loudly)
- Frequent pauses in breathing, often accompanied by a loud gasping sound when breathing resumes
- Difficulty concentrating or staying awake, even after a full night of sleep
- Daytime tiredness or fatigue
- Dry mouth or frequent sore throats upon waking
- Changes in mood (depression, irritability, etc.)
Obesity and alcoholic beverage consumption are also risk factors associated with sleep apnea. Middle-aged and older male patients are more likely to have sleep apnea. However, anyone, regardless of age or risk factors, can develop the condition. It is important to seek treatment as soon as possible because many physicians associate sleep apnea with heart disease, high cholesterol, and other critical issues. A formal diagnosis from a sleep specialist is needed before treatment.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Through Oral Surgery
Nonsurgical treatments for sleep apnea are almost always recommended before surgery is recommended. Weight loss and other lifestyle changes, as well as the use of a CPAP machine, are very effective treatments for some people. However, if your sleep apnea symptoms remain unchanged after trying nonsurgical treatment options, surgery may be the solution for you. Our oral surgeons will evaluate your condition and medical history thoroughly to determine if you are a good candidate for surgery.
- UPPP (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty) tightens or removes some of the soft palate or tissue around the throat, which can clear the airway. Other soft-tissue alterations can clear the airway by altering the tongue or soft palate.
- Orthognathic surgery, also known as jaw surgery, can also help to open the airway by repositioning the jaw. Because the nature of this surgery is very involved, it is only considered in serious cases.
Sleep Apnea Treatment from Fresno Oral Maxillofacial Surgery & Dental Implant Center
For more information about sleep apnea, and to help determine if sleep apnea surgery is the right treatment for you, we are here to help. Contact one of our offices in Fresno, Clovis, Reedley, or Madera for more information. A member of our staff will be happy to assist you in scheduling an initial consultation.