Sleep apnea affects millions of Americans throughout their lifetimes. Not only can sleep apnea interfere with you and your partner’s sleep, but it can be detrimental to your health as well. You may think that loud snoring is a part of life, but this isn’t true. Sleep apnea can be treated and even cured through various methods. If you suffer from sleep apnea and can’t seem to find relief, an oral surgeon may be able to help you.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder where your breathing pattern repeatedly starts and stops throughout the night. It is commonly characterized by loud snoring, abrupt awakening with shortness of breath, dry mouth, and sore throat, and tiredness resulting from a bad night of sleep.
It’s easy to dismiss snoring as a normal thing people do, but it can signify a more serious health condition like sleep apnea. Various treatments exist for sleep apnea, but a majority of people do not find relief from them. Oral surgery may seem like a strange solution to get rid of snoring, but it can remove the cause of sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea & Oral Surgery
Oral surgeons work on much more than just teeth. An Oral and Maxillofacial (OMF) surgeon specializes in a variety of disorders that deal with the mouth, teeth, jaw, and face. The experience that an OMF surgeon requires gives them the knowledge to treat sleep apnea and cure you for good.
Oral surgery treatment will vary depending on the underlying cause of your sleep apnea. The most common surgical treatment options are:
- Genioglossus Advancement (GGA) – surgery tightens the tendon on the tongue to help your tongue from blocking your airway while you sleep.
- Hyoid Suspension – surgery stabilizes your airway by securing the hyoid bone to the thyroid cartilage.
- Maxillomandibular Advancement (MMA) – repositions the bones and joints on the face to keep airways open.
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) – partially removes the uvula and reduces part of the soft palate.
Oral surgeons can also help with non-surgical procedures, such as dental devices and lower jaw adjustments. However, non-surgical methods are typically effective for those with mild cases of sleep apnea, and may not entirely cure the problem.
Oral surgeons can treat a variety of disorders, including sleep apnea. If you or someone you know is suffering from sleep apnea, consult with an oral surgeon today. Dr. Nancy Herbst at Union City Oral Surgery has years of experience treating patients in the New Jersey area and can consult with you today. Contact us at (201) 601-9262 to schedule a visit.