If you find yourself feeling sleepy throughout the day, having trouble concentrating, or feeling depressed, you may be suffering from the consequences of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes you to have trouble breathing while you are asleep. It not only leads to poor, disrupted rest but also may lead to cardiovascular problems from the lack of sufficient oxygen reaching your bloodstream. If you suspect you have this disorder, you may not think of an oral surgeon as someone to consult, but if you have obstructive sleep apnea, our surgeons are exactly who you should see. Drs. Michael W. Golding and J. Gregory Sabol at Oral & Facial Surgeons of Arizona can diagnose you and go over permanent treatment options.
How We Diagnosis You
Getting a diagnosis is as simple as coming to our Phoenix or Tempe office for an examination. The process may include:
• 3-D cone beam volumetric tomography
• A naso-pharyngeal examination with a flexible, fiber-optic camera
• An evaluation for Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS), a related but less severe disorder
If needed, you may have to stay overnight at a laboratory to participate in a sleep study where you will be watched for abnormal pauses or unusually shallow breathing.
How We Treat You
Once we give you a diagnosis and are familiar with your particular case, we will devise a treatment plan specific to your needs. We stay away from temporary solutions, such as mouth guards, that won’t benefit you long term. Instead, we focus on solutions like these:
1. Nasal CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. This machine requires you to wear a mask through which pressurized oxygen flows to limit airway obstruction.
2. UPPP (uvulo-palato-pharyngo-plasty) surgery. This procedure modifies the tissue at the back of your soft palate and throat.
3. LAUPP (laser-assisted uvulo-palato-plasty) surgery. This surgery is similar to UPPP but is performed with a laser.
4. Radio-frequency probe. This tool is used to tighten your soft palate.
5. Jaw repositioning. In complex cases, it is necessary to enlarge your airway through repositioning your upper and lower jaw.
Let Us Help You
We know how harmful obstructive sleep apnea is to your health. Lack of sleep and oxygen causes other serious problems besides fatigue. We can prevent this snowball effect by relieving you of your symptoms through various lasting methods personalized for you.