San Francisco dentist helps many patients who have obstructive sleep apnea

It is estimated that more than 22 million Americans suffer from the debilitation and life shortening effects of sleep apnea. Fortunately, help for this serious condition may be as close as the dentist’s office. Dental therapy has had a role in managing obstructive sleep apnea since it was discovered that appliances used to enhance craniofacial development were found to help open the airway. Dr. Leo Arellano and his skilled team have played a large role in helping many people in San Francisco, Daly City, and the neighboring areas, who are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea to get the restorative sleep they need.

Understanding obstructive sleep apnea

Air passes through the upper airway (mouth, nose, and throat) on its way to the lungs. The soft area at the back of the throat has a tendency to collapse inward when a person breathes, but the muscles dilate (widen) keeping the airway open. Abnormalities or interference with this process causes air turbulence, and in some cases, the tissues collapse, blocking the airway temporarily, causing apnea. Five or more of these episodes per hour of sleep is considered obstructive sleep apnea.

Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue even after eight hours of sleep, dozing while reading or watching TV, or even while stopped at a traffic light
  • Loud chronic snoring
  • Pauses in breathing during sleep as witnessed by a housemate
  • Morning sore throat, dry mouth, or headache
  • Insomnia
  • Impaired emotional and mental functions such as irritability and difficulty concentrating
We are here to help Call us at 415-881-4343 or Schedule an Appointment today

Causes and risk factors

Although there are many causes and risk factors for this condition, some of the most common are:

  • Structural abnormalities in the airway, skull, or face, or a large neck
  • Enlarged tongue or tonsils
  • Weakness in the airway muscles
  • Obesity
  • Gender, men are more likely to develop this disorder than women
  • Age, adults 40 to 60 are the most common group to develop the disorder
  • Tobacco and alcohol increase the risk of the condition.


CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is a common and effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea; however, it has a low compliance rate due to inconvenience and discomfort. Oral appliance therapy, available from Dr. Leo Arellano is patient-friendly and effective for many who suffer from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. The device, similar to a mouth guard, supports the jaw or repositions the tongue to prevent the airway from collapsing. Call 415-881-4343 for an appointment today.

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Patient Reviews
Image Of Dolores E

I've been going to Dr. Arellano for about 20 years and I continue because of the excellent care and treatment I get with him and his whole office team. He is both professional and personable.
Recently I had a newer technique of gum surgery/grafting at his office called, "Pinhole Surgical Technique of gum grafting." I personally found this to be much easier to handle than the other style of gum grafting that I received years ago for the other side of my mouth. That worked, it was where part of my roof of my mouth was cut and surgically sewn onto the gum. However, I much prefer the pinhole technique. It was actually the easiest dental work I've had (beyond regular cleaning.) It didn't take too long and it didn't feel uncomfortable getting it done. I was swollen, but I think that happens regardless of what kind of gum grafting is done. I needed ibuprofin for a few days, no major pain. It healed well and just felt easy. I am not a fan of having any work done in my mouth because that's me, but this was the easiest work I've ever had done.
So, if you are debating which kind of surgery to do I personally would recommend the pinhole surgery.

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Patient Reviews
Image Of Laura V

We've gone to Dr Arellano for many years and have never been disappointed with any of the work he's done. Recently my husband broke a tooth and Leo got him in and had the tooth repaired within a few short hours. Service like that is very hard to finds these days. His office staff is fantastic. Nice people you are always glad to see. I would highly recommend Dr Arellano to anyone who is searching for an honest, competent, well trained dentist.

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Patient Reviews
Image Of Steve G

I recently had a dental implant procedure performed by Dr. Arellano.
I could not be more pleased with the results. From the initial consultation to insertion of the implants, Dr. Arellano made this entire procedure understandable, easy, & pain-free !!
Highly recommend this professional dentist.

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