Sleep Apnea Treatment: Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) in Hudson Valley, NY

Sleep apnea is the cessation of breathing during sleep, a common problem that affects both adults and children. Certain sleep apnea types can be treated by your dentist or oral surgeon. Your doctor may also be a part of the diagnosis and treatment.

The National Institutes of Health estimate that more than 25 million Americans have sleep apnea, most often undetected or misdiagnosed. In fact, conservative estimates suggest that only 16 percent of sleep apnea sufferers receive treatment.

What Happens if Sleep Apnea Remains Untreated?

If sleep apnea is left undiagnosed and untreated for too long, it can lead to severe health complications, including:

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Memory and Concentration Impairment

People with sleep apnea stop breathing on multiple occasions throughout the night. These frequent interruptions dangerously lower your body’s oxygen levels, forcing your brain to wake you up into a semi-conscious state – enough to take a proper breath. The sleep apnea cycle of interrupted breathing and waking can happen dozens or even hundreds of times a night.

What are Some Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

Some of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Daytime exhaustion
  • Snoring
  • Gasping for air or choking during sleep
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Poor concentration
  • Weight gain
  • Heartburn and indigestion
  • Headaches
  • Sinus problems
  • Night sweats

How Does Sleep Apnea Occur?

Sleep apnea occurs in three forms:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea is an airway blockage caused by a genetic abnormality such as excessive tissue in the back of the tongue, throat or nose.
  • Central sleep apnea results when the brain fails to send proper signals to muscles responsible for breathing.
  • Mixed sleep apnea (also called complex sleep apnea) is diagnosed when both central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea are present.

How Can My Dentist Help Me with Sleep Apnea?

Your dentist may be able to correct obstructive sleep apnea by fitting you with an oral appliance that is worn during the night. If your sleep apnea is caused by the tongue resting on the airway, a tongue-retaining device can possibly correct the problem. Sleep apnea caused by the incorrect positioning of the jaw may be treated with a device inserted into the mouth or strapped around the head to adjust the jaw’s positioning. Dental devices worn inside the mouth to treat sleep apnea look like athletic mouth guards. They are removable and worn only at night.

Oral appliances can be used for mild to moderate sleep apnea and snoring, caused by a repetitive obstruction to the airway. Airway obstruction occurs because of an anatomical limitation such as a large or floppy tongue, excess tissue in the throat, obesity, nasal obstruction, or an enlarged uvula or tonsils. Sleep apnea severity is defined among other variables by the number of breathing pauses per hour of sleep, which may lead to low blood oxygen levels and may or may not involve snoring. Sleep apnea treatment options should be carefully weighed as this disorder can lead to serious and sometimes debilitating consequences, including among others, high blood pressure, stroke, congestive heart failure or diabetes.

Patients with high moderate or severe sleep apnea are generally not good candidates for oral appliances as it will not help adequately resolve their apnea. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy remains the standard of care for those patients. However, if you do not respond to or are not a candidate for CPAP, you may re-evaluate your options by consulting your sleep physician.

Only qualified and trained personnel should fit oral appliances.

Please contact our experienced dentists today for a sleep apnea consultation.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
I was scheduled for an 11:15 appointment for a cleaning with Ellen. There was no wait time at all. She answered any questions I had and did an excellent job. She has a great personalty and really […]
Karen I.
You cannot go wrong if Dr. Brown is your dentist! He is absolutely amazing. Patient, kind, and truly wants what is best for the kids he sees. My son is timid and gets nervous easily, but Dr Brown […]
Anonymous
Very thorough cleaning and professional service!
Jesicca S.
Yo estoy muy contento de ser pasiente de aqui son muy amables y ay espesialistas muy buenos el personal es. Muy amable
Julia H.
Very friendly and very accommodating. Love this practice! My kids are especially fond of their peds dentist too!
Vicky K.
Great staff from front desk to hygienist to the dentist. I am impressed.
Niyaja L.
Dr. Leo checked my x-rays and showed me that I needed a cavity filled and the crown replaced. She expertly and painlessly took care of everything while making me feel comfortable and special. […]
Dietmar H.
Family Dental Group is amazing! The team has always provided me with great service and the doctors are very friendly! The assistants were super helpful and made me feel very comfortable.
JOSHUA A.
I’m sitting here for the 2nd time this month, my son is getting some cavities filled and Dr. Mila is singing and he is giggling hysterically, trying not to move! I’m so happy we came here […]
Nira R.
Everybody is great to work with.
Robert G.
Really nice receptionist. The oral surgeon was pleasant.
Anonymous
This visit was for my routine cleaning. The hygienist, Renee, was both professional and personable. She explained everything she was going to do and answered all my questions. I then had a check-up […]
Ronald P.
My daughter is only 3 but had some cavities. Dr Brown made her so comfortable while he filled them. He didn’t want to scare her or make her freak out. He spoke calmly and patiently with her and […]
Anonymous
every one there is great. there very caring and they check on you after every major dental work
Brittany P.
Dr. Debiase and the Staff was Great !!! This was awesome for my brother and sister they love it it’s super quick and easy too this is great
Anthony S.
Professional and pleasant staff. My son’s dentist is amazing!!
Pharaoh W.
They have a friendly and helpful staff. They put my mind at ease about my three extractions.
Ian-William F.
Two of my children go here and the staff has gone above and beyond both times! We have had horrible experiences with dentists and let me tell you…the dentists here are absolutely amazing. […]
Rae S.
Always a pleasure going to Family Dental. Dan is a wonderful hygienist!
Anonymous
I absolutely love this dental group Dr. Mila, the pediatric dentist and her assistants alway make sure my boys are comfortable and pay special attention to them during their visits. I was always […]
Shanda M.
Find a Location
Near You
Healthcare Financing with
CareCredit
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
Learn More

We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

No Insurance? No Worries! See our discounts and offers here