If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), seeing an oral surgeon may be in your best interests.
A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine can work to keep your OSA under control. However, if you’re like many people, using one every night may prove to be a struggle.
Oral surgeons offer an alternative, addressing the underlying cause of obstructive sleep apnea. Often, oral surgery procedures provide a permanent solution.
Common Side Effects of Using a CPAP Machine
Regular use of a CPAP machine can allow you to breathe easier and get better rest. But you may also experience troubling side effects as a result of using one night after night. Complaints regarding this treatment for obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Discomfort — Some people find the CPAP mask to be incredibly unpleasant to wear, and others can’t tolerate forced air.
- Skin irritation — CPAP masks can create sores and abrasions, and sleep apnea patients often report irritated facial skin.
- Nasal congestion — Pressurized air flowing from a CPAP machine may dry out the nasal passages, resulting in persistent congestion.
- Dry mouth — Sleeping with the mouth open is common among OSA patients, and many develop dry mouth.
In some cases, switching to a different type of CPAP mask or using a bilevel positive airway pressure (BPAP) machine instead of a CPAP machine can eliminate these side effects. But for some sleep apnea patients, neither of these options is an effective approach.
Surgical Treatments for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
For sleep apnea sufferers who cannot adjust to using a CPAP machine, an oral surgery procedure to enlarge the airway can be an alternative solution.
Oral surgeons use a range of techniques to treat OSA. In some cases, removing the tonsils, adenoids and other tissues from the rear of the mouth or the top of the throat is necessary. In others, oral surgeons may surgically implant plastic rods in the soft palate or reposition the jaw.
If a deviated septum is blocking the airway, which is not uncommon for OSA patients, an oral surgeon can surgically straighten the nasal walls. And if no other treatment proves effective, an oral surgery procedure to open a new air passageway in the neck may be the best course of action.
Can an Oral Surgeon End Your Reliance on a CPAP Machine?
Surgical treatment helps many OSA patients, and it can even provide a permanent solution — but it isn’t right for everyone.
For patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea, oral surgery may not be as successful. Body weight is also a contributing factor, and those who weigh less than 125 percent of the ideal for their height typically see better surgical outcomes. In addition, for patients with certain medical conditions or diseases, oral surgery may not be recommended.
If you live in the greater central Indiana area, the professional team at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery can offer expert advice on obstructive sleep apnea treatment and overcoming the challenges of using a CPAP machine.
To schedule an oral surgeon consultation, contact Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery in Indianapolis, Indiana, today.