Sleep-disordered breathing is defined as labored respiration during sleep caused by airway obstruction. For example, when an individual goes to sleep at night and lays down, the throat may become constricted, which can cause sleep apnea, snoring, and other symptoms. In order to determine the severity and complexity of the sleep-disordered breathing problem, Redlands, CA dentist, Dr. Steve Tatevossian, will "map" the oral airway and nasal passages using acoustic reflection technology.
Once the exact problem has been pinpointed, the patient can be treated with Oral Appliance Therapy. In most patients, this involves the use of a custom mouthguard. A night guard keeps the jaw in an optimal position to allow enough oxygen to reach the body during sleep.
When "mapping" your airway to analyze the exact problem, Dr. Tatevossian will use 2 tools to perform the assessment:
The rhinometer test is performed to assess the nasal passage openings. During this test, obstructions or turbinate infections can usually be diagnosed and can be ruled as a cause of sleep apnea, or not. If an obstruction does exist, patients may be referred to an ENT specialist (ear, nose and throat).
In order to assess your optimal breathing position, a pharyngometer is used to "map" the cross-sectional diameter of the oral airway and measure its stability. This test generally establishes whether or not an oral device can be effective in helping the problem.
After establishing your optimal breathing position, Dr. Tatevossian will discuss the right oral appliance so that you can begin to sleep easier. Most oral appliances resemble an athletic mouth guard, however, they are less bulky and more comfortable.
The night guard can be long-lasting if it is used with proper care. However, oral appliances will eventually need replacements. Patients should wear their mouth guard every night and follow the care instructions given by our staff.
It is common for the majority of insurance companies to cover some or a portion of the cost of oral appliance therapy for the treatment of sleep apnea. Our front office billing coordinators will confirm the benefits and costs associated with this treatment.
If you are one of millions of Americans who wake up with tooth pain, a tight jaw, headaches or mouth pain, consult with King House Dental Group about a custom night guard that can protect your teeth from grinding and clenching.
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