Try oral appliance therapy for comfortable sleep apnea treatment in San Francisco
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common but serious sleep disorder that affects millions of Americans. Normally, the muscles in the throat keep the airways open when a person is sleeping, however, when OSA exists, the airway can narrow dangerously, depriving the body of essential levels of oxygen. This can occur for a number of reasons including overly relaxed throat muscles, large tonsils or tongue, and extra tissue thickening the wall of the windpipe, among many other causes. Generally, obstructive sleep apnea occurs as follows:
- Air passes through the upper airway (mouth, nose, and throat) on the way to the lungs
- The soft tissue at the back part of the throat has a tendency to collapse as the sleeping person breathes
- Under normal conditions, the widening (dilator) muscles work to prevent the collapse, which keeps the airway open. Abnormalities or interference with this flow causes air turbulence
- If the soft tissues collapse far enough to block the airway momentarily, an apneic event occurs. Even though breathing is stopped temporarily, the sleeper is unaware of it in most cases
- Apnea reduces the blood oxygen level, which eventually causes the brain to trigger the lungs into sucking in air
- When this occurs, the sleeper usually makes a snorting or gasping sound, but rarely wakes up fully
Doctor Leo Arellano offers comfortable oral appliance therapy for effective treatment of mild to moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea. Although CPAP treatment is effective, and the most commonly prescribed treatment, it isn’t very popular with patients due to side effects such as sore throat, dry eyes, skin irritation, noise, and a variety of other complaints. Many prefer to wear a comfortable oral appliance, which fits like an orthodontic retainer or athletic mouth guard.
The specially designed, small plastic appliance maintains an unobstructed, open airway when worn at night. Dr. Arellano has the training and experience to determine the proper style of appliance for each individual patient. The appliances have a number of advantages:
- The treatment is non-invasive and reversible
- The small, convenient appliances are easy to travel with
- They are easy to wear and comfortable
In addition to comfortable, effective treatment for OSA, as well as TMJ dysfunction with innovative oral appliance therapies, Dr. Arellano, and his highly skilled team provide a wide range of preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dental services to the people of San Francisco and the surrounding areas.