Airway Management With Dr. Marc Worob and Dr. Elyse Cronin Barron
At 12 Oaks Dental, we are concerned not just with your oral health, but with your overall health as well. And getting a good night’s sleep is absolutely essential to a person’s overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, many of our patients from throughout the Austin, TX, area suffer from interrupted or poor quality sleep, which is why we are pleased to offer sleep/airway management services to our family of patients.
One of the most serious forms of sleep disorders is sleep apnea. Do you snore? Do you often wake feeling unrefreshed? Do you experience disruptive daytime drowsiness? If so, you could be suffering from sleep apnea, a serious and even life-threatening disorder.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea basically means that you stop breathing – or don’t breathe enough – during sleep. In fact, “apnea” is related to the Greek word for breath. There are two types of sleep apnea: Obstructive Sleep Apnea, caused when the soft tissue in the back of your mouth becomes relaxed during sleep and blocks the airway; and Central Apnea, a lack of effort to breathe.
Why is Sleep Apnea so Dangerous?
When the airway becomes obstructed, the oxygen level in your blood decreases. Another problem is that Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) keeps sufferers from entering the REM cycle of sleep, which lowers the quality of restful and restorative sleep. As a result, OSA can lead to:
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Atrial fibrillation
- Acid reflux/GERD
- Hormone imbalance
- Weight gain
What Are The Main Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
There is a wide range of symptoms that might indicate Obstructive Sleep Apnea, including:
- Chronic, loud snoring
- Daytime sleepiness
- Chronic fatigue
- Impaired memory and judgment
- Difficulty concentrating
- Depression and mood swings
- Grinding of teeth
How Can a Dentist Help with Sleep Apnea?
Drs. Worob and Barron have a unique ability to help diagnose and treat sleep disorders, and have taken extensive, post-graduate training in dental sleep medicine. In fact, we have helped so many patients find the healthy sleep they want and need that we have recently opened Healthy Sleep Texas, a center specializing in the dental treatment of nighttime breathing and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders.
One of our most effective treatment options is the use of an oral sleep appliance to help keep your airway open and let you get a good night’s rest. These oral sleep appliances are small, portable and comfortable, and can be a tremendous help to anyone who has been diagnosed with sleep apnea but can’t wear a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mask.
These sleep apnea appliances generally use the same principles used during cardiopulmonary resuscitation to keep the airway open. In other words, the lower jaw is held slightly forward to prevent the collapse of the soft tissue in the airway, to keep the airway open and allow normal, quiet, restful breathing. Our appliances are custom fitted to your mouth shape and size for the ultimate fit and comfort.