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Sleep Apnea & Snoring Treatment

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Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the airway is blocked, often due to the presence of excess tissue in the back of the throat (uvula and soft palate) and a large tongue. Enlarged tonsils can also cause a blockage. The goal of any treatment for sleep apnea is to alleviate obstructions and open up normal breathing patterns. People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have disrupted sleep and low blood oxygen levels. When obstructive sleep apnea occurs, the tongue is sucked against the back of the throat. This blocks the upper airway and airflow stops. When the oxygen level in the brain becomes low enough, the sleeper partially awakens, the obstruction in the throat clears, and the flow of air starts again, usually with a loud gasp.

Repeated cycles of decreased oxygenation lead to very serious cardiovascular problems. Additionally, these individuals suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, depression, and loss of concentration. OSA is a very serious condition that needs careful attention and treatment. 

Some patients have obstructions that are less severe called Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS). In either case, the individuals suffer many of the same symptoms.

The first step in treatment resides in recognition of the symptoms and seeking appropriate consultation. As a dentist with advanced training in the management of OSA, Dr. Gupta can  offer sleep apnea consultation appointments.

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In addition to a detailed history, doctors may need to assess anatomic relationships in the maxillofacial region. Sometimes special imaging is needed to help with the analysis so doctors can ascertain the level of obstruction. At times, your medical team may need to conduct a naso-pharyngeal exam is done with a flexible fiber-optic camera. To confirm the amount of cardiovascular compromise and decreased oxygenation levels, a sleep study may be recommended to monitor an individual overnight.

Although the diagnosis of sleep disorders falls within the scope of practice of  medicine, once the diagnosis is established, several treatment options are available. Often patients first try nasal CPAP machines as treatment. The CPAP works by delivering pressurized oxygen through a nasal mask to limit obstruction at night. However, not everyone tolerates CPAP machines and prefer an alternative instead. Oral appliances known as  Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD) are recognized by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine as an acceptable alternative, particularly in cases of mild to moderate OSA. 

MAD is a type of an oral appliance which works by repositioning your lower jaw in a more forward position, thereby opening your airway to make breathing easier. Just as each patient is unique, the best jaw position for each patient is unique. Once the OSA is satisfactorily managed, Dr. Gupta and her team will continue to follow-up on your progress with routine checkups.

Sleep apnea is a serious health risk and possibly can cause heart attacks or other serious medical conditions. 

CPAP Vs. Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)

CPAP Therapy is the most common form of treatment. It involves wearing a mask that is connected to a pump. As a patient sleeps, air is pumped into the nasal passages, providing a consistent flow of air that keeps the airways open. While it is considered a safe and effective treatment option, CPAP therapy has some considerable downsides:

  • Discomfort and irritation from the mask

  • Restricted movement during sleep

  • Noise disturbance from the apparatus

  • Inconvenience


Generally, the gold standard for treating OSA is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. However, CPAP doesn’t have the best long-term compliance rate. Oftentimes, patients will try CPAP for a month or two, find it too uncomfortable or inconvenient to wear and throw it in their closet never to be seen again. Unfortunately many patients discontinue CPAP therapy due to the inconvenience of the mask and may feel that the only other solution that might help is surgery. . By doing this, their sleep apnea is not getting treatment. Without treatment, sleep apnea can cause significant health risks and have a large impact on daily quality of life.

OAT is a relatively new treatment that is becoming popular lately with patients who are tired of CPAP. If your doctor has found that you have OSA, you will be offered treatment options. Another option is oral appliance therapy which resembles a mouth guard used by athletes.

What are the benefits of oral appliance therapy for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Oral appliance therapy:

  • Can improve symptoms of OSA, including daytime sleepiness, moodiness, concentration issues and reduce or eliminate snoring.

  • Offers another option for people who cannot tolerate CPAP

  • Is easier to take along when traveling

  • Works without electricity and is quiet therapy

  • OAT is far less cumbersome than traditional CPAP therapy because OAT devices are easy to use, comfortable, noise-free, portable, and do not require electricity or distilled water.

  • Patient satisfaction and compliance are significantly higher with OAT than CPAP.

  • OAT devices are custom-made, covered by most health insurance plans, and delivered and adjusted by a qualified dentist trained to ensure proper fit and maximum effectiveness.

Dr. Bhumija Gupta uses an approach which involves the use of a custom-fitted oral appliance. Comparable in feel to a mouth guard or retainer, oral appliances are designed to gently reposition the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate and uvula. By preventing the collapse of tissue in the back of the throat, oral appliances keep the airways clear and help regulate breathing during sleep.

A Holistic Dentist With Cutting Edge Technology

Your health is our number-one priority. That’s why we’ve invested in the latest dental technology in an ever-advancing industry.We also make an effort to “go green” by reducing and eliminating toxic materials and products in dental work and in our office. We are committed to using the most bio-inert and biocompatible products available.

We look forward to working with you and finding which treatments promote a positive response in your oral and overall health. Please contact our team at (585) 624 5480 (Mendon Location) and (585) 436 1640 (Rochester Location) today if you would like more information or need to see our dentist.

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