Oral Surgery for Sleep Apnea: What You Should Know

By markplatt on August 31, 2015

An older woman smilingThe team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates have provided advanced dental health treatments to patients in and around Montgomery. Using the latest surgical techniques and technologies, our team has been able to treat a whole host of difficult problems related to the soft and hard tissue structures of the mouth and jaw.

One of the medical conditions that we have been able to treatment successfully is sleep apena. While many people think that the condition just involves serious snoring, sleep apnea is really a serious breathing issue that needs proper diagnosis and treatment. Let's consider surgical options for curing sleep apnea right now.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a form of breathing interruption that occurs when a person is asleep. In essence, a person experiences an interruption in regular breathing (an apena) that can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. These frequent interruptions in regular respiration during sleep can result in fatigue during the day, mental fogginess, and issues with attention and memory.

There are three kinds of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructed Sleep Apnea (OSA) – The breathing interruptions are a result of a physical blockage in the airways. This is the most common form of sleep apnea.

  • Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) – The breathing interruptions are a result of a problems in the brain's respiratory control center.

  • Mixed Sleep Apnea – The breathing interruptions are a result of both OSA and CSA factors.

Surgery is a potential treatment for OSA if non-surgical treatment options prove ineffective or not a viable option.

Maxillomandibular Advancement (MMA)

One of the most effective sleep apnea surgeries, maxillomandibular advancement involves adjustments to the bone structure of the upper and lower jaw to help adjust the soft tissues of the mouth, including the soft palate and the tongue. This helps keep the airways free from potential obstructions.

Surgery for the Soft Palate

In a number of cases, a person's soft palate is what causes the interruptions in breathing to occur. The surgery for the soft palate may involve the removal of part of the soft palate, or tightening of the soft palate to help prevent it from falling into the path of the breathing passages.

Nasal Surgery

Sometimes the ideal treatment for a case of obstructive sleep apnea is to surgically revise the nasal cavity and airways. In a number of cases, this means addressing issues with a deviated septum, helping improve breathing and potentially addressing a number of other respiratory problems in the process.

Tongue Reduction Surgery

Though not an ideal surgical treatment for sleep apnea, is it possible to perform a tongue reduction in order to keep a person's airways free from obstructions.

Which option is right for me?

The ideal kind of oral surgery to address your sleep apnea will depend on the nature of your case and your general health and wellness. If your sleep apnea is mixed, a combination of surgery and other therapies may be ideal.

We will be sure to discuss all surgical and non-surgical treatment options for your case of sleep apnea during a consultation at our practice.

Learn More About Treating Sleep Apnea

For more information about treating sleep apnea and how we can help you achieve total wellness through advanced dental procedures, be sure to contact our advanced oral surgery center today. The entire team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates looks forward to your visit and discussing all of your treatment options.

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