Sleep Apnea: Can my orthodontist help?


Sleep apnea is a challenging and dangerous sleep disorder. (If you’ve slept in ear-shot of someone with sleep apnea, you understand the challenge!)

Many people with moderate to severe sleep apnea snore outrageously loud. This is because sleep apnea is characterized by a periodic lapse of breathing during a person’s sleep. Sleep apnea is a very serious condition, as it stops oxygen from traveling to the brain for periods of time, typically around 10 seconds each. This frequent lack of oxygen to the brain and body can lead to serious health issues, as these 10 second cessations can occur hundreds of times during a person’s sleep during just one night.

So now the question is: If I am at risk of developing or currently have sleep apnea, can my orthodontist help?

Yes, we have sleep apnea solutions for you! But first, let’s understand the dangers of sleep apnea. We already know sleep apnea causes recurring pauses in a person’s breathing during sleep, but what can that lead to? If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to strokes, heart failure and heart attacks, diabetes, depression and difficulty concentrating during everyday tasks, like driving!

A person with sleep apnea may wake up in the morning with a sore throat and headaches, forgetfulness and mood changes, loud snoring and a choking sensation in the middle of the night. Sleep apnea is rather common, affecting about 200,000 people in the U.S. per year. There are 3 forms of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea (CSA) and mixed or complex sleep apnea.

  • OSA is the most common form of sleep apnea, characterized by a partial or complete airway blockage during sleep.
  • CSA is characterized by the brain failing to signal the muscles responsible for controlled breathing.
  • Mixed/Complex sleep apnea is characterized by a mix of both OSA and CSA disorders.

How can orthodontic treatment be used as a sleep apnea treatment?

As sleep apnea is commonly caused by blocked airways in the throat (hence the loud snoring), there are some orthodontic options your doctor may recommend to help resolve obstruction.

After our professional orthodontists at Caudill Orthodontics in Merritt Island and Melbourne determine your unique cause of sleep apnea through a complimentary exam, they will discuss treatment options with you.

If you or a loved one suffers with sleep apnea, give us a call today (321) 259-3237 or request an appointment here. If you have questions about the average cost of braces or Invisalign®, we have answers.

We’re here to help you achieve your dream smile while simultaneously improving your quality of life (and sleep) through affordable orthodontics!

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