Looking for Sleep Apnea or Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome Treatment Options in Reston/Herndon, VA?

Sleeping well is important for maintaining health, much like brushing your teeth properly. Excessive daytime sleepiness, regular morning dry mouth, shortness of breath, and frequent heartburn are just a few of the common symptoms of sleep apnea and upper airway resistance syndrome.  For those with mild to moderate obstructive types of sleeping problems, oral appliances for the treatment of sleep apnea and upper airway resistance syndrome have been shown to be an effective alternative to traditional CPAP treatments. Since FDA-approved oral appliances are really a dental device, you cannot get one created by a certified sleep specialist. Our office will gladly coordinate treatment with your physician to customize the best care for your diagnosis.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep Apnea and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) can be very dangerous. If left untreated, it may increase the risk for stroke, heart disease and more.  Along with the dangers that are associated with sleep syndromes, a good night’s rest is rarely achieved for those who are affected by sleep apnea.  According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, more than 12 million people in the U.S. have sleep apnea and the likelihood of developing it increases with age.

The following underlying or concurrent medical issues are some of the most glaring indicators of a sleeping disorder:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain or large neck circumference
  • High blood pressure
  • Earaches
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heartburn
  • Dry mouth

Whereas CPAP machines are the most common treatment of OSA, many individuals do not tolerate and are not compliant with their CPAP machines. According to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), up to 50 percent of sleep apnea patients do not tolerate CPAP.

For those with mild to moderate OSA who are unable to tolerate a CPAP machine, an oral appliance may help. Oral appliance therapy utilizes a device that is worn while sleeping.

What is upper airway resistance syndrome?

Upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) is a sleep disorder characterized by increased resistance to airflow in the upper airway. Although the exact cause of UARS is unknown, it is believed to be associated with anatomic abnormalities of the upper airway, including enlarged tonsils and adenoids, and/or abnormalities of the muscles and nerves that control breathing. UARS can occur in both children and adults, but is most common in young adults.

The following underlying or concurrent medical issues are some of the most glaring indicators of a sleeping disorder:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Restless sleep
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Dry mouth

In general, UARS is a condition that occurs when the soft tissue in your throat relaxes and doesn't allow proper airflow while you sleep. It's similar to but not as severe as, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Some experts classify UARS as a condition that falls somewhere between snoring and sleep apnea.

What are the benefits of using an oral appliance for sleep apnea and upper airway resistance syndrome?

Even though it is a medical device, your oral sleep appliance must be developed by a dentist since it is a custom dental device that affects your oral health and tooth integrity. After taking impressions of your upper and lower teeth, our lab will form the device so that it repositions your jaw in a particular manner, preventing blockage of the airway by gently moving your lower jaw forward to keep your tongue from resting on your tonsils, soft palate, or the back of your throat.

Some of the main benefits of oral appliances for sleep apnea are:

  • Ease of use - there is no bulky, noisy machine that prevents sleep movement or attachments such as tubes or nosepieces to contend with while sleeping
  • Portability - the portability of oral appliances makes them more convenient to use, which increases compliance. Many of those who suffer from sleep apnea choose not to bring their CPAP when they travel. The oral appliance is a lightweight and compact alternative that allows travelers to continue their normal sleep routine.
  • Comfort - oral appliances are much more comfortable than the CPAP mask.  It typically only takes a couple of weeks for most people to become acclimated to wearing the appliance.

Is an oral appliance the right choice for my sleep apnea/upper airway resistance syndrome?

If you are struggling with excessive daytime fatigue, have poor quality sleep, or are CPAP intolerant and are interested in an oral appliance to treat sleep apnea or upper airway resistance syndrome, please feel free to contact our practice. We would be happy to provide a free, comprehensive consultation to determine if an oral appliance is the best treatment for your sleep apnea or upper airway resistance syndrome.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (703) 471-8333 or request an appointment here.

Site Map