It is known that 18 million adults and a whole lot of children suffer from a condition. It affects sleep and therefore life, it is called ‘sleep apnea.’ This condition is both annoying, unhealthy, and difficult to live with. There have been many attempts and lots of research into overcoming this condition, but it remains at large among us. In terms of remedies and ways to reduce the symptoms and effects of this disruptive condition, orthodontics is doing its best to help. In this post, we’ll take you through what is sleep apnea is and how orthodontics can help. Let’s get going.


sleep apnea

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What is Sleep Apnea?

This is a condition where people experience breathing interruptions during sleep. The stopping and starting effects duration and quality of sleep. It also affects the partners and families of those suffering this condition. Sleep apnea means that breathing pauses during sleep. This pause can last seconds or up to several minutes.


Tell me More About it

There are three types of sleep apnea. They are born from two types of blockage.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

This being the most common form of sleep apnea. This form occurs when throat muscle relaxes too much. Tonsils, the soft palate, and the tongue are all supported by these muscles. Too much relaxation from the muscles results in airway narrowing and difficulties in breathing.

When the above happens, the brain will automatically begin breathing through the nose. This corrects the issue but disrupts the actual sleep. This interruption can occur up to 30 times an hour in severe cases.

Central Sleep Apnea

This is a disorder that affects the neurotransmissions from the brain to the muscles. The transmission fails and the person will make no effort to breathe. Sounds serious.

Complex Sleep Apnea

This occurs when a person suffers from both obstructive and central sleep apnea and is the least common form.


What are the Symptoms?

In a word, snoring. Many people snore, it is not a guarantee of sleep apnea, but snoring is a fixed given with this condition. If you snore loudly enough to affect those around you, seek medical advice.


No person has ever died directly from sleep apnea


You will be pleased to hear no person has ever died directly from sleep apnea. However, sleep apnea has many undesirable side effects, some of which are serious. Below we list the most common.

Sleep apnea is common among those with the above conditions. It doesn’t cause these issues but can accelerate any pre-existing cardiovascular conditions.

Tiredness is a common trait among people with sleep disorders. Even if a person does get a good number of hours in sleepy land, they are tired due to the constant interruptions from the pauses in breathing. This affects the quality of sleep and the energy and health of a person. Not to mention partners and loved ones of those with sleep apnea will also suffer the constant interruptions and noise from snoring.


FAQ sign

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Orthodontic Treatments of Sleep Apnea

There are three different types of dental appliances for this condition. These will be recommended by an orthodontist. The orthodontist’s recommendation depends on the exact orthodontic issue that’s causing the issue.

Braces treatment

Braces and aligners can be useful in the treatment of sleep issues due to malocclusion of the teeth. These devices will move the teeth into a correct position opening the airways allowing the free flow of air. Orthodontic treatment to treat sleep apnea is available for children too.

Rapid Palate Expander

Rapid Palate Expander can be used to treat obstructive sleep issues in children. Fixed to the upper molars by cemented bands or bonding. They will bridge the upper jaw and widen the space in the upper jaw.

Mandibular Advancement Splint

This is a custom-fitted brace that changes the jaw alignment during sleep. This is for use on the lower jaw. The jaw is moved slightly forward and downward. This widens the airway and reduces obstructive symptoms.


Noteworthy Fact

As sleep apnea is considered a medical issue, consult your insurance company, and find out what they can support you with. They may well be agreeable with orthodontic treatment.




If you’re interested in calling an end to sleep issues then call the office. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Schulhof and Dr. Noh to discuss your needs. Then, create a game plan and get the self-confidence you deserve. It’s going to change your life. Contact us today because orthodontics shouldn’t just be a treatment, but a health-improving aspect of life.

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