Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition when the airway is blocked by the tongue and soft tissue of the mouth when a person is asleep. When the airway is blocked, the patient stops breathing. When the brain registers that it is not receiving enough oxygen it wakes the body enough to take a deep breath. This process is repeated throughout the night, sometimes as many as 30 times an hour, leaving the person with very poor quality, fragmented sleep.

This nightly disruption has many consequences; not least the lack of continued restful sleep can cause day time tiredness affecting a person’s work, difficulty in concentration, changes in mood and a decreased interest in sex.


Other medical conditions that can be attributed to sleep apnea are:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Higher risk of strokes
  • Strain of Cardiovascular system
  • Weight gain

You are at increased risk of Obstructive Sleep Apnea if you can associate with one or more of the following:

  • Excess Weight
  • Thicker neck circumference
  • Male
  • Mature Adult
  • Family history
  • Smoker
  • Nasal congestion
  • Alcohol
  • Sedatives or tranquilizers

There are a number of different treatment options available, once Obstructive Sleep Apnea has been diagnosed.

  • Good Sleep Hygiene: reduced light and noise in the bedroom; avoid reading or watching the television in bed; avoid eating or exercising before bed; keep work related items out of the bedroom.
  • Dental Appliance that physically stops the tongue from falling back to block the airway.
  • Dental Appliance that repositions the jaw to hold the airway open while a person is asleep
  • CPAP machine
  • Surgical Options: UPPP, Uvulo-palato-pharyngo-plasty, which is performed on the soft tissue; orthognathic surgery, which is performed to reposition the facial bone structure.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is considered a serious medical condition and needs careful attention and treatment. Our Oral Surgeons are available for consultations to discuss your concerns and treatment options for Sleep Apnea. Most major medical insurance plans offer coverage for diagnosis and treatment and our experienced insurance team will be very happy to help you look at your individual insurance plan.

If you believe you are suffering from sleep apnea, contact Union Oral Surgery at (704) 291-7333 for a consultation.