Dental Sleep Medicine

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that involves repeated breathing interruptions during sleep. Sleep apnea occurs when the upper airway and airflow are blocked, causing the oxygen levels to drop in both in the brain and the blood, resulting in shallow breathing or breathing pauses during sleep.  Dr. Cardenas has received additional training to treat sleep apnea through the use of customized sleep appliance devices.

Our office is committed to helping address this very delicate issue and our comprehensive examination also includes screening for possible indications of sleep apnea. Though anyone can be at risk, adults over the age of 60 may be more at risk of developing sleep apnea because the aging process may limit the brain's ability to keep the throat muscles stiff during sleep. Heavy use of alcohol or sedatives may also contribute to sleep apnea because these substances may relax the muscles of the throat. If you or someone you love thinks they may be suffering from sleep apnea it is important to contact us for additional information.

Patients with sleep apnea may wake up with a headache in the morning and experience excessive daytime sleepiness. Additional symptoms may include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Insomnia
  • Abrupt awakenings during the night
  • Individuals with sleep apnea may experience shortness of breath that awakens them from sleep.

Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is diagnosed through a physical examination and a review of symptoms. Individuals may be referred to a sleep specialist who performs various diagnostic tests to confirm a diagnosis of sleep apnea or another sleep disorder.

treatment : Intra-oral appliances

With this therapy, the lower jaw is moved forward through the use of a customized appliance to create more space behind the tongue and soft palate and reduce the risk of obstruction during sleep. Breathing is restored as the path for airflow is cleared. The two most common appliances used in our office are the Flex and Herbst Advance™. Once the appliance is custom fitted, treatment is coordinated with your physician to insure that the therapy is progressing favorably. Adjustments are made in our office and a follow-up sleep study is conducted.

Herbst Advance™

For more information on our dental sleep medicine services, please use our online form or call us at 305-598-9072 to schedule a consultation.