Sleep Apnea

People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have disrupted sleep and low blood oxygen levels. When obstructive sleep apnea occurs, the tongue is sucked against the back of the throat. This blocks the upper airway and airflow stops. When the oxygen level in the brain becomes low enough, the sleeper partially awakens, the obstruction in the throat clears, and the flow of air starts again, usually with a loud gasp.

Repeated cycles of decreased oxygenation lead to very serious cardiovascular problems. Additionally, these individuals suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, depression, and loss of concentration.

Some patients have obstructions that are less severe called Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS). In either case, the individuals suffer many of the same symptoms.

The first step in treatment resides in recognition of the symptoms and seeking appropriate consultation. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons offer consultation and treatment options.

In addition to a detailed history, the doctors will assess the anatomic relationships in the maxillofacial region. With cephalometic (skull x-ray) analysis, the doctors can ascertain the level of obstruction. Sometimes a naso-pharyngeal exam is done with a flexible fiber-optic camera. To confirm the amount of cardiovascular compromise and decreased oxygenation levels, a sleep study may be recommended to monitor an individual overnight.

There are several treatment options available. An initial treatment may consist of using a nasal CPAP machine that delivers pressurized oxygen through a nasal mask to limit obstruction at night. One of the surgical options is an uvulo-palato-pharyngo-plasty (UPPP), which is performed in the back of the soft palate and throat. A similar procedure is sometimes done with the assistance of a laser and is called a laser assisted uvulo-palato-plasty (LAUPP). In other cases, a radio-frequency probe is utilized to tighten the soft palate. These procedures usually performed under light IV sedation in the office.

In more complex cases, the bones of the upper and lower jaw may be repositioned to increase the size of the airway (orthognathic surgery). This procedure is done in the hospital under general anesthesia and requires a one to two day overnight stay in the hospital.

OSA is a very serious condition that needs careful attention and treatment. Most major medical plans offer coverage for diagnosis and treatment.

Texas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery

5 out of 5 stars based on 3 Sleep Apnea reviews

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I have SEVERE anxiety with dentists, that includes oral surgeons, sorry Dr. Bowles no offense. My first appointment I tore up a stress ball, but they explained everything they were going to do, gave me positive affirmations and pats on my shoulder to let me know it would be okay. Before I left, I was in tears, not because of fear or anxiety, but because I was overwhelmed with the care and love they showed me. I had my procedure about a week ago and I honestly couldn't be more happy, still in pain some, but honestly I couldn't have asked for better. I kinda wish he was a normal dentist so I could just have all my dental needs done here. Thank you guys so much 🙂

- Christy C

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Although the wait was long (they worked me in and did the very best they could) this was probably the very best experience I have had at any dentist office. I didn’t know we had an oral surgeon in town. If anyone looks for a recommendation I will most definitely refer them to this office. Super sweet staff, informative, doctor has a great bedside manner. Thanks so much you guys!!!!

- Alyson B

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I would put my life in this doctor’s hands again and have no doubts about his anesthesiology and surgical skills.

- Dr Ross A

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