Exploring Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

Exploring Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that involves much more than just snoring. People with sleep apnea stop breathing up to hundreds of times per night. When they stop breathing, they wake up and struggle for air. Although you may not remember waking up hundreds of times per night if you have sleep apnea, you will notice the effects of daytime drowsiness that follow. People with sleep apnea have an elevated risk of heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and injuries from accidents associated with fatigue. For all of these reasons, it is important to get treatment as soon as possible if you suspect you have sleep apnea. You may be surprised to know that some of the most effective treatments are available from your dentist. Here is a look at your treatment options. 

Oral Appliances

For some people with sleep apnea, an oral appliance can alleviate symptoms. These appliances are custom-made to fit your mouth and work by gently pushing your jaw or in some cases just not letting your jaw fall back when you sleep to help open your airway. With your airway clear, you should be able to breathe easily without any apnea episodes. In most cases patients find oral appliances comfortable, and most people adapt to them quickly. Your dentist can partner with your physician to determine if this kind of sleep apnea treatment may be right for you. 


When most people think of sleep apnea treatments, they think of CPAP machines. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. With a CPAP machine, air is continuously pushed into your airway through your nose and or mouth to basically blow your airway open. Using a CPAP machine requires wearing a mask while you sleep and adjusting to the air flow pressure, in .  In some cases this pressure can be reduced by using an appliance like discussed above with your CPAP.  This is often referred to as combination therapy. 

At the office of John Carson, DDS we also offer screening for sleep apnea patients and will partner with your physician so that we can develop a personalized treatment plan. Additionally Dr. Carson is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. To explore more about sleep apnea treatment in Tucson, call (520) 514-7203.