This patient came in for a laser treatment to reduce his snoring. He didn’t realize his airway was almost completely closed. In a single visit, we opened up his airway!
One laser treatment to open an airway takes only about 20 minutes.
No sedatives or pain medication are necessary. The procedure feels similar to drinking a warm tea.
The laser warms the tissue and stimulates new collagen synthesis (neocollagenesis), which causes tightening and contraction of the tissue.
This results in a near-instant opening the airway, and easier breathing.
Photo: The top photo shows this patient’s airway was almost completely blocked. The bottom photo is same patient immediately after a 20 minute, painless laser procedure. Read more about this case.
What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?
Obstructive sleep apnea if the partial or complete obstruction of the u[[er airway. It is characterized by repetitive episodes of shallow or paused breathing during sleep, despite the effort to breathe, and is usually associated with a reduction in blood oxygen saturation.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your breathing regularly stops or is slowed for 10 seconds or longer due to blocked or narrowed airways. Airway blockage may be caused by excess tissue in the throat or nasal passages, large tonsils, a large tongue, and sometimes the structure of the jaw itself. Being constantly awoken during sleep robs your body of the rest it needs to function properly during the day. OSA is classified as mild, moderate or severe, depending on the number of stops (apnea) or slow breathing (hypopnea) per hour.
What are the symptoms of OSA?
- Snoring, bruxing ( grinding your teeth) or clenching
- Waking up or feeling exhausted from a normal nights sleep
- Daytime tiredness
- Jaw joint pain
- Morning or unexplained headaches
- Overweight with or without high blood pressure
- Heart palpitations
- Insomnia, poor concentration, forgetfulness, or chronic fatigue
- Compromised immune system
- Sexual dysfunction
- Increased risk for hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
To be diagnosed, a sleep study either at home or in a sleep center must be conducted or interpreted by a sleep physician. Once a sleep study is completed, a trained dentist can help decide if a mandibular advancement appliance can be made instead of the CPAP machine.
What can I do about snoring?
If you feel snoring is a problem, you may be a suitable candidate for a snoring appliance (oral airway dilator) which is on of the most efficient and effective methods for treating primary snoring. Snoring appliances (which are made and fitted by Dr. Vane) work by moving your jaw and tongue forward, thereby creating more space for you to properly breathe during the night.
How does snoring indicate OSA?
Snoring is from a narrowing of the airways (nose, mouth or throat). Snoring is often an indicator of sleep apnea, as the narrowing of the airways can be something more serious. A sleep study is where a medical recording device is used to record involuntary body functions that occur during sleep.
For OSA, a sleep study needs to record the following:
- Airflow and respiratory effort
- Blood oxygen
- Body position
How does NightLase help with snoring?
If snoring is still a problem, Dr. Vane can perform a procedure with a laser called NightLase.
This painless procedure, which involves 3-4 sessions of 30 min each, involves using the laser to shrink the tissue in the back of the throat by increasing collagen formation.
The tightening of the tissue allows the throat and airway to open, dramatically reducing snoring and increasing airflow.
- Risk of stroke increased by 60% in men with moderate to severe OSA
- Sleep apnea is the leading causing of secondary hypertension ( high blood pressure)
- Increases the risk of coronary artery disease by 30%
- Increase the risk of congestive heart failure by 140%!!! Moderate OSA has a higher mortality rate
- OSA sufferers have a 30% higher risk of heart attack or premature death
- Poor sleep related to OSA increases mood disturbance by 19%: depression, anxiety, PTSD, shortened attention span, moodiness, bad temper, poor judgement, impaired concentration and memory loss
- Daytime sleepiness causes a 6 fold increase in car accidents- falling asleep at the wheel
- OSA has a 50-80% correlation with loud snoring. Loud snoring correlates to relationship discord, and morning headaches followed from oxygen deprivation
- 15% increase is diabetes type 2
- 18% in ( gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- 40% increase in sexual dysfunction – loss of libido and impotence
- Increase in urination at night
- Undiagnosed in children is often misdiagnosed as ADHD ( Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder) . The number one reason for this is enlarged tonsils, a narrow palate, or undiagnosed tongue tie. Sleep disordered breathing can damage the pre-frontal cortex in children.
- OSA might lower your child’s IQ by 10 points
- Increased weight gain and inability to lose weight- the lack of oxygen at night triggers carbohydrate cravings due to an inbalance in levels of leptin and grehlin resulting in weight gain