Sleep Apnea: Treatment with Mandibular Advancement Devices

Sleep disorders: bruxism, snoring and sleep apnea.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS) consists of the partial or total closure of the upper airway during sleep, which is clinically translated by the decrease in respiratory flow and the presence of snoring and apneas (breathing stops) while sleeping.

OSA usually has its origin in the narrowing of the upper airway (UAS), being related to a hypotonia (loss of strength) of the muscles of the throat or tongue, so that the tongue falls backwards and obstructs the passage of air through the pharynx.

For whom is the treatment of OSAS indicated?

Snoring is very common and its frequency increases with age, as it is present in 16% of the child population and, above the age of 40, in 25% of women and 50% of men.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome OSAS is three times more frequent in snoring versus non-snoring patients, being present in 1-3% of children, 2-5% of women and 3-6% of men, being a major public health problem.

What are the benefits of Sleep Apnea treatment?

It is important to treat OSAS because episodes of apneas are followed by attempted forced breathing and small sleep interruptions (micro awakenings) that will eventually lead, in the short term, to poor quality nighttime sleep associated with daytime tiredness and sleepiness. However, apneas will also lead to a chronic decrease in blood oxygen levels, which in the long term will lead to hypertension, cardiovascular disease, headaches and an increased risk of stroke.

How is it diagnosed?

The diagnosis of OSAS is based on a study consisting of a complete interview and clinical examination, which will be complemented with cranial X-rays and a nocturnal respiratory polygraphy that analyzes the number of apnea and variations in average blood oxygen levels throughout the night.

On certain occasions, it will also be necessary to request more sophisticated complementary tests from other medical professionals to complement the diagnosis, such as a nocturnal polysomnography performed by the neurophysiologist, cranial tomography, dynamic studies of respiratory function performed by the pulmonologist or endoscopic studies of the airways performed by the orthorhinolaryngologist.

What does the treatment consist of?

Clínica Kranion performs conservative treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea through postural therapies, sleep hygiene techniques and the placement of intraoral orthopedic appliances, also called Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD).

The Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) improves airflow in the upper airway by mandibular advancement. During use, the tongue is prevented from moving backwards during sleep and obstructing the airway.

Although snoring, either on its own or accompanied by mild or moderate apneas, can be effectively treated with a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD), the most cost-effective treatment in severe cases of OSA is continuous positive airway pressure devices, also called CPAP, which should be properly monitored by a physician in hospital Sleep Units.

How many days will I be inactive?

The treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea with Mandibular Advancement Devices does not require inactivity of the patient so that he/she can be immediately incorporated into the normal rhythm of life. There are no symptoms that alter the normal functioning of life, or negatively affect the health of people. 

Are there any contraindications to this treatment?

The choice of intraoral prostheses as the first option for the treatment of OSAHS patients is due to their safety, easy handling and quick adaptation by patients.

If you need more information related to the treatment we use to treat Sleep Apnea, please contact us.