Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Snoring
We’re going to tell you about one of the amazing sleep apnea solutions that we now use. It uses orthodontics and MARPE to help you sleep better—and treat many destructive sleep apnea symptoms.
Obstructive sleep apnea is often caused by a blockage in your airway. It may close your throat just enough to stop you from breathing for 10–30 seconds per incident, after which you suddenly snore or gasp to start breathing again.
Sleep apnea causes issues from headaches and fatigue to mood swings and heart problems, along with many others. Let’s explore how orthodontics can relieve these issues.
Orthodontic Treatment Isn’t Just for Looks
We often use orthodontics for patients who want straighter teeth and a gorgeous smile. We’re very experienced with the Invisalign® process for these patients.
But Invisalign aligners can also move your jaw, change your bite motion, and/or change the positions of your teeth, which can open up your airway, letting you breathe more easily during the night.
During a consultation at our local dentist office in San Jose, your dental specialists will examine your jaw movements, nasal passages, facial bones, and more using dental x-rays and other tools.
We’ll then make a plan for a sleep apnea treatment that involves clear aligners, traditional braces, or other orthodontic techniques to permanently change the positions of your teeth or jaw. This solution brings lasting change.
Traditional Sleep Apnea Treatments vs. Airway Orthodontics
Traditionally, patients use a sleep apnea machine called a CPAP to push air past an obstruction while they sleep. This involves wearing a mask during the night.
At our family dental practice, we also create small oral devices for sleep apnea. These fit over your teeth and move your jaw into a slightly different position, opening the airway for better breathing.
But airway orthodontics focuses on the permanent shape of your teeth and jaw that affect your airway. They’re not temporary fixes.
Plus, some patients really hate wearing a CPAP mask all night. They don’t like the noise of a machine or the tubes trailing across their blankets. Some patients stop using their CPAP or mouth guard, so they need a way to fix sleep apnea that they don’t need to manage at night.
MARPE is a specific treatment type within airway orthodontics. It uses a set of tools to directly expand the bones of the upper jaw, which is called the maxilla.
When the maxilla is too narrow, the upper teeth can get too crowded together. This can even cause nasal obstructions and sleep apnea.
If we make the maxilla wider, you’ll have more room in your mouth and nasal cavity, letting your tongue move forward and up. This gives more space in your airway both during the day and during sleep.
We used to only perform maxilla expansion on young patients whose upper jaw was still growing. But now with MARPE, we can treat young adults—even into their 20s and 30s.
The MARPE Procedure
Come into the dentist office where our team will help you get comfortable. We use anesthesia for this half-hour procedure, and you can manage discomfort at home with painkillers.
The family dentist will attach a state-of-the-art expander on the roof of the mouth. Fortunately, these days this is not attached to your teeth.
We’ll adjust this tool to start to expand the maxilla. Then, over a series of treatments lasting 4–6 months, we’ll expand it several more times. If any gaps develop between your teeth, we will correct them with Invisalign aligners.
The final goals of MARPE include :
- Straight and even teeth.
- Stable, healthy bite movements.
- Much better airflow through the mouth and throat for long-term improved sleep.
Remember, these changes are permanent. Your airway can have a better capacity for many years after this course of treatment.
Call Today to Find Out More About MARPE
At our dental clinic, we’re devoted to a range of solutions for better rest, including sleep apnea mouth guards, the CPAP for some patients, and orthodontics. We will even recommend sleep apnea surgery if it’s right for you and your health.
The first step in sleep dentistry is to contact us for help. We offer a snoring and sleep apnea consultation for FREE in a comfortable, family dental care setting.
If you’re missing out on restful sleep, call Advanced Dentistry by Design for a complimentary exam.