A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mask that forces air into the airway during sleep is a highly effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, but unfortunately many patients cannot tolerate wearing the mask throughout the night and they ultimately abandon the device. This means that they will continue to experience the consequences associated with the sleep apnea. Surgical solutions may help these patients manage their sleep apnea without resorting to a cumbersome mask.
An oral surgeon can help patients who have not gotten relief from other non-invasive treatments such as oral appliance therapy in addition to those who cannot wear a CPAP mask.
The treatment process begins when the oral surgeon evaluates your case to determine which facial structures may be contributing to the airway obstruction that causes the apneic episodes.
Different surgical approaches will be appropriate in different circumstances. For example, if excess soft tissue at the rear of the throat is prone to collapsing over the airway opening and obstructing it, the surgeon can remove some of that tissue to reduce the risk of airway obstruction.
For some patients, the tongue may be too far back in the mouth during sleep and more likely to cover up the airway. In these cases, repositioning the jaw surgically may help to keep the tongue in a more forward position during sleep.
Your surgeon will educate you on the specific procedure that will be beneficial in your case.
If you don’t want to wear a CPAP mask, it’s essential that you explore alternative treatments for your sleep apnea. Symptoms like daytime drowsiness can affect your work performance and may even be dangerous while driving and performing other activities that require your full attention. Furthermore, the condition is linked with many negative health outcomes, including heart disease and stroke.
Our oral surgeons have significant expertise in treating patients with sleep apnea. To take advantage of this extensive knowledge, contact our office to set up an initial consultation to learn more about your treatment options.