Oral surgery is not the initial approach to treating obstructive sleep apnea. The treatment of choice is usually either a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine or a dental appliance.
But, for many people who suffer from sleep apnea, these conservative measures come with complications. Oral surgery to enlarge the airway can be an effective alternative – and surgical treatment offers a permanent solution.
Problems with CPAP Machines
If you currently use a CPAP machine to treat your sleep apnea, you may be sleeping and breathing better at night. But chances are, you have at least one or two complaints about the device.
Using a CPAP machine night after night can lead to skin irritation, dry mouth and chronic nasal congestion. The mask can also be seriously uncomfortable to wear. A different mask or machine can solve some of these problems in some patients, but this doesn’t always help.
Difficulties with Dental Appliances
If you wear a dental appliance at night, your OSA may be under control. And, you probably appreciate how the device is quiet, portable and easy to clean – features you won’t find in a CPAP machine.
Of course, dental appliances also pose challenges for OSA patients. Some people find them uncomfortable, while others experience excessive salivation or dry mouth as a result of wearing the device. And with this treatment approach, patients often end up with bite misalignment, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain and other dental problems.
Can You Benefit from Oral Surgery?
If your CPAP machine or dental appliance is causing troubles, don’t just cast it aside – left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can be life-threatening. Instead, consider surgical treatment
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons can employ a range of techniques to enlarge your airway and allow you to breathe better when you’re asleep. Procedures can involve any of the structures in the mouth, throat and nose, and oral surgery may be a multi-step process.
Surgical treatment can address the underlying cause of your obstructive sleep apnea. Consequently, it can be a permanent solution – meaning after oral surgery, you may be able to throw out your CPAP machine or dental appliance.
However, sleep apnea surgery isn’t right for everyone. Surgical treatment can be less effective with severe OSA, and patients who are relatively close to their ideal weight tend to achieve better outcomes. In addition, surgery may not an option for patients with certain serious health conditions.
Are you ready to find out if you can eliminate your sleep apnea through oral surgery? If you live in the greater central Indiana area, the professional team at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery can give you expert advice.
Dr. Garrison and Dr. Kelly, our board-certified oral surgeons, have extensive expertise helping OSA patients and can determine if you’re a good candidate for surgical treatment. Contact Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery in Indianapolis, Indiana, and schedule a consultation to discuss oral surgery for sleep apnea today.