What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?
More than 12 million Americans have a form of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and many more cases remain undiagnosed. Obstructive sleep apnea that's not treated can contribute to diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and coronary artery disease. Moreover, it may also contribute to traffic accidents caused by drowsy driving.
Dentists play an important role in treating this sleeping disorder, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral appliances for treating mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
How does OSA manifest?
OSA is a type of breathing disorder that manifests by brief interactions of breathing during sleep. This typically occurs due to a blockage in the airway and results in a drop in blood oxygen levels throughout the night.
A sleep physician typically diagnoses OSA by using a polysomnogram and a sleep study to monitor brain activity during sleep. After collecting the data, the physician diagnosis any sleep disorders and recommends treatment.
If recommended by the sleep doctor, the dentist can work together to treat obstructive sleep apnea with the help of oral appliance therapy. Dr John Han has years of experience working with slip doctors to treat obstructive sleep apnea.