top of page
woman-wearing-anti-snoring-chin-straps_edited.jpg

Sleep apnea

Orthodontic treatment can relieve sleep apnea and reduce airway problems


            Sleep apnea is a serious disorder in which a person involuntarily stops breathing during their sleep cycle. This lack of oxygen can lead to symptoms such as severe headaches, chronic fatigue, and snoring, and it can have a significant negative impact on your quality of life. In the  Martín Goenaga Clinic  Doctors Martin, Aznar and Arias Camisón offer treatments for patients suffering from sleep apnea and respiratory problems. Because several risk factors for sleep disorders include the positions of the oral and maxillofacial structures, orthodontic treatment offers long-term success for many patients. There are many treatment options available and the method will depend on the individual.


            Not only does sleep apnea cause a multitude of health problems for the patient, but it is also detrimental to their partner. Someone suffering from sleep apnea may not be aware of the noise and shock that is often a byproduct of sleep disruption. Usually after holding their breath for an extended period of time, the sleeper will partially wake up and take deep, forceful breaths. This can be worrisome for a sleeping partner, who often stays awake to make sure their partner is still breathing.


Risk factors for sleep apnea


            Sleep apnea can be caused by genetic, environmental, or a combination of both. If any of these indicators are true, you may have a higher risk of developing a sleep disorder:


Age:  if you are over 40 years old, you have a higher risk of developing sleep apnea.


Sex:  the likelihood of sleep apnea is more likely in men.


Hard and soft tissue position:  the structure of your soft palate and airways can directly affect your breathing. Narrow airways are in many cases insufficient for a large volume of air to pass through. The size of the soft tissues can also negatively affect sleep, such as enlarged tonsils or an overly large tongue. Oral and maxillofacial structures, such as the mandible and the temporomandibular joint, contribute to the shape and size of the airways.


Breathing through the mouth:  Chronic mouth breathers draw too much air into the lungs, causing an increase in negative pressure in the airways. This also leads to the development of severe dry mouth, which keeps the tissues inflamed and results in discomfort.


Sleep on your back:  Sleeping position plays an important role in patients with sleep disorders. When you lie on your back, there is an increased intake of air, which can lead to snoring. This sleeping position also encourages relaxation of the lower jaw, which decreases the diameter of the upper airway.


Sinus problems:  congested nasal passages or chronic sinus problems can interfere with normal breathing.


Obesity:  Overweight patients are at higher risk of developing sleep disorders, due to the enlargement of the soft tissues in the back of the throat.


Large neck:  the risk of airway collapse is increased in patients with thicker necks. The average neck circumference is 17 inches in male patients and 16 inches in female patients.


Symptoms of sleep disorders

            Sleep apnea can present a variety of warning signs. If you notice one or more of these symptoms, you may have a sleep disorder:


Snoring

Interrupted sleep

Frequent trips to the bathroom at night.

Morning fatigue

Nocturnal asthma

Dry mouth

Severe coughing or wheezing upon waking


Treatment approaches for sleep apnea

Orthodontic treatment can play a vital role in alleviating sleep disorders. In determining the most practical treatment for you, Drs. Martin, Aznar, and Arias Camisón will assess how your teeth occlude, the movement of the jaw joints, and the position of the jaw, among other factors. Treatment options for sleep apnea range from simple to complex. Your treatment will be determined by your individual needs. Many patients have experienced significant improvement with these solutions:

Read more
bottom of page