Obstructive Sleep Apnea

It’s never fun to wake up tired and irritable. It’s even less fun if your partner complains about you snoring or gasping for breath when you sleep. If you’re experiencing these signs, then you may be one of millions of Americans who suffer from a sleep-breathing disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is often defined by lapses in breathing that last for 10 seconds or longer. These lapses prevent oxygen from reaching the brain and can happen hundreds of times throughout the night. Patients with sleep apnea can suffer from:

  • Loud, Habitual Snoring
  • Memory Loss
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Daytime Drowsiness
  • High Blood Pressure

Sleep apnea is often attributed to blocked air passages, which occur when a person’s tongue and soft palate collapse onto the throat’s back. The upper airway is then blocked, which stops the air flow. Oxygen levels drop and deep sleep is interrupted, causing the person to partially awaken. Then the airway opens back up, air flows again, often with a gasp. For a person suffering from sleep apnea, this can happen many times a night.

Many patients seek treatment with a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine, which delivers a continual flow of oxygen through the airway while a patient sleeps. However, the CPAP machine is noisy and cumbersome, and many patients discontinue treatment. As an alternative to CPAP, we can provide a comfortable, custom-made oral appliance that repositions the jaw, tongue, and palate, allowing for unobstructed airflow. Oral appliance treatments have been proven effective for treating mild-to-moderate sleep apnea.

Schedule a Consultation With Us Today

Sleep apnea may affect your overall health. We can help. To schedule a consultation with us, call Sue Ellen Richardson, DDS, in Houston, TX, today at 713-796-9600. We also serve patients who live in Bellaire, River Oaks, Southside Place, and all surrounding communities.