Harbourside Oral & Facial Surgical Centre

SLEEP APNEA

Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues of the oronasocomplex relax and obstruct airflow. Persons with this condition have disrupted sleep and low blood oxygen levels. When the oxygen level in the brain is reduced the individual partially awakens, the obstruction in the throat clears and the flow of air starts again.

Repeated cycles of decreased oxygenation can lead to cardiovascular problems. In addition, sufferers of sleep apnea can experience excessive daytime sleepiness, depression and loss of concentration.

If you suffer from sleep apnea please consult with your physician who may order a sleep study which can determine cardiovascular compromise and decreased oxygenation levels.

Depending on the cause of sleep apnea, different therapies may be offered. An initial treatment may consist of using a nasal CPAP machine that delivers pressurized oxygen through a nasal mask to limit obstruction at night. Some surgical options may include surgery of the nasal septum or of the soft palate performed by another Specialist.

For some individuals the cause of sleep apnea may be related to the position of the upper and lower jaw bones. This can be corrected by orthognathic surgery (jaw repositioning) performed by an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. If your physician believes this could be a cause of your sleep apnea symptoms, and you have already undergone a sleep study, a referral to Dr. Sowden will confirm whether surgical intervention of the jaw is an option for you to consider.

 

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