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For patients diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, a mandibular advancement device (MAD) could prove to be an effective option. MADs are often a secondary recommendation for patients who have tried CPAP and still need additional assistance. These devices require a custom fit courtesy of a dentist or orthodontist, ensuring the mouth guard-like apparatus conforms to each person’s unique anatomy, gently easing the lower jaw forward to free up airflow to the lungs.
While MADs work best on mild to moderate forms of obstructive sleep apnea, maxillomandibular surgery uses a similar treatment idea to address more severe cases. The procedure requires fracturing and resetting the jawbones to move them forward in the mouth so they’re less likely to block the patient’s airway. The surgery is one of the most involved treatment options for sleep disorders, usually including a short hospital stay and fairly lengthy recovery period, but for chronic apnea sufferers, the results can be well worth the temporary discomfort.
In patients where the roof of the mouth is shaped in a way that impedes airflow, a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty procedure may be a viable solution. During a UPPP, the surgeon trims away excess tissue from your uvula and soft palate and may even re-situate some oral muscles in the palate and throat walls and remove the tonsils and/or adenoids to create the clearest pathway possible.
Though UPPP can ease sleep disorders such as apnea, it’s unlikely to eliminate the problem altogether. Many patients experience better results by continuing to use a CPAP or other milder form of apnea treatment after surgery.
If narrow or collapses nasal passages are a concern, your doctor may suggest a septoplasty or turbinate reduction. The first procedure straightens a deviated septum while the second addresses structural issues on the side of the nose. These surgeries may be conducted independently or concurrently, depending on which anatomically areas are causing the root obstruction.
Depending on your needs and what your doctor believes is the root cause (or causes) of your sleep disorder, you may be referred to an expert who offers one of the following treatments:
If excessive sleepiness or snoring are threatening to ruin your nightly rest, daytime productivity and even your personal and professional relationships, know there is help available. To get started on the road to better sleep, contact the team at Brunswick Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine today. We can help you with testing, diagnosis, and initial treatment and refer you to our trusted circle of specialists should the need arise.