Obstructive Sleep Apnea with Pinewood Dentistry and Implants

What is obstructive sleep apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when the soft tissues of your mouth and throat sag during sleep, blocking your airway and preventing you from breathing properly for several seconds. This can happen hundreds of times per night. It can be treated with lifestyle changes, a CPAP machine, or oral appliance therapy.

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It is reported that about 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Often, our spouses suffer the most.

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Solving obstructive sleep apnea



Dr. Lincoln Fantaski and Dr. Gary Tyrone Bishop can properly educate and guide patients towards diagnosing sleep apnea related problems and future treatment. The same solution will not work for everyone, so individual consultation is important. Often, a sleep study is necessary to diagnose the severity of sleep apnea and offer treatment recommendations.


Lifestyle changes

Once we know you have obstructive sleep apnea, we can discuss lifestyle changes, such as sleep hygiene and techniques and therapies for better nighttime breathing, which can reduce snoring and bring you more energy. That is always our first step.

Obstructive sleep apnea devices

There are only 2 products that are FDA cleared to eliminate or reduce sleep apnea: An oral appliance or a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). Both the oral appliance and CPAP eliminate or reduce sleep apnea by opening the blocked airway in the back of your throat. Alhough highly effective, many people are unable to tolerate a CPAP during the night and end up removing it, thus, voiding the benefits. However, an oral appliance is much smaller and more comfortable to the wearer therefore providing significant benefits in airway during sleep.

Recommendations & Options

Dr. Lincoln Fantaski and Dr. Gary Tyrone Bishop fabricate OSA devices in-office so patients can get the treatment they need under one roof. These devices are similar to a mouth guard and ensure that your airway stays open while you sleep.

More About Sleep Apnea

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Types of Sleep Apnea

The most common type of sleep apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). This occurs when the airway is obstructed by oral tissues during sleep. Contributing factors to OSA include being overweight, use of alcohol and sedatives, smoking tobacco, nasal congestion, and genetic factors like a narrow mouth or throat.

Central sleep apnea (CSA) is caused by improper brain signals to your lungs, which cause them to stop breathing for short periods of time. It can be caused due to medical conditions like Cheyne-Stokes respiration, by damage to the brain stem, which controls breathing, or by the use of certain types of narcotic painkillers.

Complex sleep apnea (CompSAS) has combination symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

The most common symptom of sleep apnea is deep, prolonged snoring, which is accompanied by periodic interruptions in breathing during sleep. The patient will then gasp for air upon the resumption of breathing. Some patients might wake up from this.

Other signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include a dry throat and mouth upon waking, insomnia, poor quality sleep, morning headaches, drowsiness throughout the day, decreased sex drive, and irritability. If you recognize one or more of these symptoms in yourself or your sleeping partner, you can see a sleep specialist for a diagnosis.

Treatment Options for Obstructive Sleep Apnea 

Oral appliance therapy (OAT) is becoming more common in the treatment of OSA. In this treatment, your dentist will create an oral appliance, which looks similar to a retainer or a mouth guard. This device will shift the position of your jaw during sleep, keeping your oral tissue from sagging and holding your airway open through the night.

In addition, OSA can be mitigated or even eliminated by some basic lifestyle changes, such as ceasing smoking and alcohol use, avoiding narcotics or sedatives, losing weight, and changing the position in which you sleep. 

Did you know…


Nearly 80 percent of the cases of obstructive sleep apnea go undiagnosed.

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Have questions about sleep apnea? Get the answers.

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How does sleep apnea affect the body?

In the short term, sleep apnea affects the body by interfering with your sleep. High-quality, restful sleep is essential for your overall health and well-being, and your mental health. You may feel irritable and drowsy during the day, and have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep at night. You may also experience frequent interruptions in sleep. 

In the long-term, sleep apnea is even more dangerous. Since it interrupts proper respiration and blood oxygenation, it can contribute to your risk of a stroke or development of heart disease. For that reason, it’s very important to get treated for apnea as soon as you can. 

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What does sleep apnea sound like?

Sleep apnea is more than a snore. It usually involves loud, prolonged snoring that is accompanied by frequent pauses in breathing. When the person with apnea starts breathing again, they also usually make “gasping” or “choking” sounds. If you hear this pattern of breathing, it’s very likely that sleep apnea is causing it. If your sleeping partner snores frequently, but their sleep is not interrupted by pauses in breathing, it’s unlikely that they have sleep apnea.

Why is sleep apnea dangerous?

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In the short-term, sleep apnea can make you drowsy and inattentive due to poor-quality sleep. This can be very dangerous for people who drive frequently or for individuals who often operate heavy or dangerous machinery for work. 

The long-term effects are even more dangerous. Moderate to severe sleep apnea has been linked with a 4x higher risk of stroke and a 4x overall higher increase in mortality (risk of death). In addition, sleep apnea has been linked with heart problems including coronary heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), cardiac arrhythmia, and heart failure. 

For all of these reasons, it’s important to work with a qualified sleep specialist and a dentist to understand the cause of your apnea, and get the care you need to breathe properly, treat your apnea, and get a restful night of sleep once again. 

What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

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The tell-tale signs of sleep apnea include loud snoring that wakes you or your roommate up at night. People with sleep apnea also stop breathing as many as 90 times in a single hour, especially at night.

Profuse night time sweating is another sign of sleep apnea, which further compromises your quality of sleep. It’s also common for people with sleep apnea to have headaches when they wake up. These headaches are known as hypoxic headaches and occur because of the deprivation of oxygen caused by breathing pauses.

Poor sleep quality also leads to moodiness and irritability in people with sleep apnea. They’re also prone to excessive daytime sleep since they don’t sleep much at night. Some people also experience dry mouth and a sore throat when they wake up.

How Do You Fix Sleep Apnea?

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You can fix your sleep apnea by trying to lose weight. You see, fat deposits underneath the respiratory tract narrow the air passageway, leading to apneic symptoms. Losing weight allows the opening up of the respiratory tract for proper breathing during sleep.

You can also fix sleep apnea by reducing habits like smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Both habits promote sleep apnea and could lead to other life-threatening complications. Nasal decongestants (nasal sprays or drops) also help mitigate sleep apnea symptoms to improve sleep quality.

People with severe obstructive sleep apnea can solve it by undergoing continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. Alternatively, they can get custom-fitted oral devices like night guards to achieve the same. A night guard positions your mouth and tongue in a way that opens up airways allowing for proper breathing during sleep.

Can You Fix Sleep Apnea Naturally?

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Yes, there are plenty of ways to fix sleep apnea naturally. For starters, you can try exercising to lose weight if obesity is contributing to your sleep apnea. Alternatively, you can try yoga to encourage proper respiration and increase oxygen supply to your body while sleeping, mitigating hypoxic headaches.

You can also try altering your sleep position to cure sleep apnea. That’s because sleep apnea symptoms worsen when you sleep on your back. Train yourself to sleep on your side and your symptoms should reduce, and you’ll enjoy better sleep quality.

What Is the Main Cause of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

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Obstructive sleep apnea is primarily caused by obesity. The fat layers deposited under the respiratory tract narrow it down, making breathing difficult, and causing snoring. Dentists and medical experts encourage people with sleep apnea to start exercising and dieting to lose weight. This is the best way to cure obstructive sleep apnea.

How Should I Sleep If I Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

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Sleeping with your back exacerbates the symptoms of sleep apnea. Dentists recommend sleeping on your sides to reduce them. Sleeping on your sides opens up the airways to avoid snoring and sleep interruptions.

Alternatively, you can sleep on your stomach. Gravity prevents the airways from collapsing, allowing a good night’s sleep. Just remember to use a pillow to prop your neck up comfortably for better sleep.

Did you know…

If left untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and heart disease.

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