How Oral Facial Surgery Can Correct Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea and oral surgery might not sound directly related, but they are. Typically oral surgery is not the first step in treating sleep apnea; however, it might be the next stop in some patients’ situations. Sleep apnea refers to any breathing interruption when a person is asleep. Interrupted breathing is taxing to the brain and body. Oral or facial surgery might be the most effective option to correct any sleep interruptions you might be experiencing. There are various procedures available to help correct sleep apnea. Dr. Davis at Utah Oral and Facial Surgery Institute can help address your concerns. Let’s better understand what’s in store when treating sleep apnea. 


What is sleep apnea?


Sleep apnea refers to any interruption that occurs during sleep. When experiencing sleep apnea, the tissues in the back of the throat collapse and block your airway while you sleep. This can happen for several seconds or up to a minute. After a minute, your brain wakes up just enough to restart breathing, and in some cases, this can happen over 500 times per night. You will never enter a deep sleep cycle if you are frequently experiencing breathing issues during the night. 


Why is it important to treat sleep apnea?


Sleep apnea can be linked to many health concerns, especially if not treated. Because you are not getting enough sleep, you are probably experiencing fatigue and sleepiness throughout the day. You might even be experiencing headaches and some irritability. Sudden drops in blood oxygen can increase blood pressure causing strain on your cardiovascular system and increasing your risk of coronary artery disease, heart attacks, heart failure, and strokes. 


Certain medications or anesthesia might relax your upper airway, but because they are sedatives, this can worsen obstructed airways. Major surgery, especially after sedation, can cause people with obstructive sleep apnea to be more prone to complications following their procedure. 


Snoring and restless sleep can cause someone sleeping next to you to be sleep-deprived because of your condition. Sleep deprivation might eventually disrupt relationships and cause partners to sleep in the other room. Don’t let sleep apnea disturb your health or personal relationships. Contact OFSI today to consult Dr. Davis regarding your obstructive sleep apnea. 


What kinds of surgeries are associated with sleep apnea?


There are various surgeries to attempt to correct sleep apnea if conservative treatments are not working for you. There are several options available to discuss further, but here are some of the procedures we recommend if you are looking for a permanent solution: 


  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, or UPP
  • Nasal Surgery
  • Soft Palate Implants
  • Hyoid Advancement 
  • Tongue Surgery 
  • Jaw Surgery 
  • Tracheostomy 

Considering the health concerns sleep apnea can cause, there are plenty of reasons why you might need to get treated sooner than you think. In some cases, conservative treatments, such as an oral appliance or a CPAP machine, might not effectively treat sleep apnea. Oral surgery might be the next step in treating your sleep apnea. For many patients, oral surgery can permanently end sleep apnea and snoring. That said, consult Dr. Davis at Utah Oral and Facial Surgery Institute to determine if oral surgery is the best option for you!

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