Gentle Dentistry

Apnoea Treatments

Sleep apnoea may be treated by:

Behaviour Modification - This therapy includes losing weight if overweight; avoiding alcohol or sedative medications, stopping smoking, and changing sleeping positions.

Dental devices: These are devices that hold the jaw forward and may be used for mild snoring and in people who have not responded to behavioural changes.

Medications: Nasal steroid sprays may be used to decrease inflammation in the nasal passages. Decongestant nasal sprays and drops are prescribed to relieve the stuffy nose. These medicines shrink the swollen blood vessels in the lining of the nose and help to improve snoring resulting from nasal congestion. Medications may also be used to increase daytime wakefulness in people with sleep apnoea.

Nasal continuous positive airway pressure: Nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a face mask device worn during sleep that prevents narrowing of the airway during inspiration and expiration by providing persistent increased air pressure. Another similar option is a “bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP)” in which the face mask allows for two different alternating pressures: one with inhalation and one with exhalation.

Surgical Treatment of Sleep Apnoea

Surgery may be considered to correct sleep apnoea if you have a deviated nasal septum, enlarged tonsils, or a small lower jaw.

Nasal surgery: Nasal surgery is done to remove any nasal polyps present or to straighten a deviated nasal septum.

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP): Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is the surgical removal of excess tissue from the back of the throat and palate to widen your airway. The procedure removes the tonsils, the uvula, and trims the palate of excess tissue.

Maxillomandibular advancement: Maxillomandibular advancement is a procedure which moves your upper (maxilla) and lower (mandible) jaws forward. This enlarges the space behind the tongue and soft palate and opens the airway.