There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form of apneas (we can treat central sleep apneas when CPAP has failed. Improvement has been seen when treating cental apnea with mandibular advancement devices (MADs)). OSA is caused by continuous obstruction of the upper airways narrowing the respiratory passages. When someone with OSA is asleep, the muscles of the nasopharynx and oropharynx begins to relax causing the tissue to collapse blocking the airway. As a result, the patient may begin to do the following when asleep: snore, gasp for breath, breathe more shallow or experience insomnia. OSA is the most common for of sleep apnea and under diagnosed medical conditions today. (it is affecting about 50:50 men:women some studies show)
Adult Sleep Apnea Treatment
Certain devices can open up the blocked airways such as, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) or an Oral Appliance that repositions the lower jaw. Some Surgical options to treat OSA include but not limited to UPPP (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty), various weight loss surgeries, turbinate reduction, septum deviation surgery, tonsil and adenoidectomy, tongue reduction.
Our offices focus on Oral Appliances to treat OSA. We use Class II, FDA approved, jaw advancement appliances to reduce collapsibility of oropharyngeal airways. Dr. Lindsey can help you find an appliance and treatment option that gets the results you desire (should I go into making the “cage” mouth bigger with reverse bicuspid extraction retraction ortho reversal? And treating with expanders and jaw repostioners??)
Child Sleep Apnea
Early treatment of sleep apnea can be invaluable to your child’s development as well as avoiding major health issues later in life. Sleep apnea must be treated differently in children than adults, due to their developing skeletal structure. In skeletal development, a child’s face is 60% completely formed by age 4, and 90% by age 12. Early treatment aims to try and develop the jaws to growth potential and develop the midface forward, instead of downward – in most cases, avoiding the common treatment of extraction of permanent teeth, and helping teeth grow straight naturally.
The following are a few signs your child may have sleep apnea and should come in for a consulation:
- ADHD signs/symptoms
- Slow growth/lack of growth spurts
- Poor growth of face and jaws
- Inability to concentrate in school
- Chronic Illness
- Frequent allergies, sinus infections, strep throat
- Snoring/loud breathing at night
- Cooked/crowded teeth (too many teeth for small jaws)
- Open mouth-breathing
- Tongue thrust (tongue coming through teeth when swallowing)
- Eating with mouth open
- Poor posture
- Teeth grinding at night
- Oral habits such as thumb sucking, lip sucking or nail biting
- Frequent headaches
- Allergic shiners (black circles around eyes)
Since we may be addressing multiple health concerns simultaneously, consultations at other doctors may be necessary.
We use kids orthotropics/orthopedics to develop the jaw and redirect facial growth in a nonpathologic direction and myofunctional therapy to retrain your muscles and breathing patterns for lasting results. Developing the jaws with orthopedic appliances expands the airway reducing the collapsibility into adulthood. This development of the skeletal/craniosacral system reduces the susceptibility to TMJ problem and sleep disordered breathing as an adult. Sleep physicians are often recommending pediatric orthotropics as an option to treat sleep apnea in children.