OSA: Obstructive Sleep Apnea Diagnosis & Treatment

Sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, people who suffer from sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may find a good night’s rest hard to achieve. Sleep apnea disrupts the sleep cycle, leading to a host of health issues.

Fine Dentistry utilizes the latest modern technology and a holistic approach to help San Diego patients identify and counter sleep apnea. Dr. Sabine Purps uses her extensive background in holistic dental care to find the treatment that will best enhance her patient’s quality of life. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, contact our office to schedule a comprehensive consultation.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Causes and Dangers

Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder where the throat muscles relax during sleep and block the airway. The body disrupts sleep in order to regain normal breathing. This occurs several times during the night, leading to poor sleep quality.

Snoring is a common indicator of sleep apnea due to the vibration of the relaxed throat muscles. The interrupted sleep and oxygen deprivation caused by OSA are not directly fatal, but can lead to significant health issues. The most notable include:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Fatigue
  • Poor concentration
  • Morning headaches
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes

Sleep apnea is also known to cause teeth grinding as the jaw is pushed forward to open the airway. This leads to toothache and worn or fractured teeth. Teeth may also become yellowed due to the stress on the dentin, or inner tooth structure.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

At Fine Dentistry, Dr. Purps can help patients identify whether they are at risk of sleep apnea. We use a high-tech scanner known as a cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). This machine creates a full 3D model of the face and throat, including the teeth, soft tissue, nerve paths, and bone structure.

By examining the model, Dr. Purps may identify structural issues that make sleep apnea more likely to occur. This preliminary diagnosis is then followed up by a sleep study to confirm sleep apnea. Once it is diagnosed, patients can begin treatment to counter the disorder and improve their wellbeing.

CPAP Machine and Other OSA Treatments

The most commonly prescribed treatment for the disorder is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. This device delivers a gently pressurized flow of air through a breathing mask, which helps to keep the airway open. The air is filtered to remove dust and impurities from the air, increasing the quality of breathing for better health.

In some cases, surgery may limit the risk of sleep apnea. Fine Dentistry works with orthodontic and maxillofacial surgeons who help patients with sleep apnea. If you have been diagnosed with OSA, we can refer you to a specialist who can help.

Holistic Dentistry in San Diego

At Fine Dentistry, we believe that good dental health goes beyond the teeth and into caring for the whole person. Dr. Purps takes a holistic approach to dentistry, and helps each patient create a master plan for their dental health. We treat each patient with personalized care and attention, and look forward to welcoming you into our dental family. Call our San Diego office to schedule a visit today!

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