Sleep Apnea & Orthodontics

SDB (Sleep disordered breathing) is a group of medical conditions that are characterized by abnormalities in the quality or pattern of respiratory activity. These include snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome, and OSA (obstructive sleep apnea).

All of these conditions involve restriction of the airway. With snoring and upper respiratory resistance syndrome, the airway is partially blocked, and the sympathetic nervous system is still functioning properly. It is important to address these conditions before they become apnea, which can have much more serious consequences.

Obstructive sleep apnea is characterized by pauses in breathing, known as apneic events. During these events, the blood oxygen level drops, triggering sympathetic nervous system activity. Often called the “fight or flight response,” this system is responsible for releasing adrenalin, raising blood pressure, and increasing heart rate. The patient rarely awakens fully during these events, and therefore is not consciously aware that breathing stopped. However, he or she experiences the same physiological effects that accompany panic, resulting in fragmented sleep.

Dr. Mogavero has extensive training in the screening and management of sleep disordered breathing, using a multidisciplinary approach. He can see signs such as facio-skeletal development, excess tissue, mouth breathing, tongue posture, and specific types of tooth wear. A dentist or physician without specific knowledge of apnea could easily miss the red flags, treating only the symptoms.

Through our office we offer screenings with a High Resolution Pulse Oximetry machine. This screening creates a minute by minute report of sleep disordered breathing while you sleep.