The team at Ingber Dental is committed to providing the best treatment solutions to our patients’ health problems. One of the areas where treatment solutions have evolved significantly in recent years is the treatment of sleep apnea. Traditionally, the therapy for sleep apnea has involved wearing a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine while sleeping.
But CPAP machines are not right for everyone. Our sleep apnea provider, Dr. Charles Porvaznik, believes it is important to offer his patients alternatives to CPAP machines for the treatment of sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea at a Glance
The most common type of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, occurs when the soft tissues at the back of the throat collapse, narrowing or blocking the upper airway and disrupting the normal flow of air. As air passes through the narrowed airway, the soft tissues vibrate, which causes snoring sounds. When oxygen levels drop, the brain goes into fight or flight mode and shifts from a deep sleep to a partially awakened state to restart breathing. This can happen hundreds of times throughout the night.
Prior to seeing an expert, most people with sleep apnea aren’t even aware that they stop breathing numerous times as they sleep. Those cessations in breath prevent them from getting the quality sleep their body needs to maintain optimal health and function.
The Challenges of a CPAP Machine
Traditionally the therapy for obstructive sleep apnea consisted of wearing a CPAP machine. CPAP machines include a mask that covers the nose, or a mask that covers the nose and mouth that provides continuous air pressure into the mouth and lungs. People that use CPAP machines often find them bulky, uncomfortable and difficult to transport.
Because the masks are uncomfortable, it can be hard to stay compliant and use the CPAP machine as directed. Some people simply don’t wear the CPAP, and as a result, continue to struggle with sleep apnea, compromising their sleep quality and putting their health at risk.
A Lightweight, Comfortable Solution
If a CPAP isn’t an appealing option, there are other suitable options to treat sleep apnea. Dr. Porvaznik offers oral appliance therapy that is safe and effective. Patients wear simple oral appliances, similar in size to a mouth guard, that retain the tongue or hold the jaw in a forward position to stop the tissues at the back of the throat from collapsing into the airway. This stops the cycle of breathing pauses, gasps for air, choking and snoring. The oral appliances are lightweight, comfortable and portable.
Learn More about Oral Appliance Therapy
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and would like to learn more about oral appliance therapy, please book an appointment with Dr. Porvaznik by calling (202) 331-7474 or emailing our practice today.