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What do I do if I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea but find it impossible to wear a CPAP?

When you are diagnosed with sleep apnea you are fitted for an appliance called a CPAP which works to keep the pharynx open by blowing air continuously through the nose. Many people swear by this appliance but for some it is too confining when trying to sleep. If you have this problem you should see your dentist.

Your general dentist can make a removable appliance similar to a retainer that encourages your lower jaw to slide forward, opening  the airway.  It is the same principle as CPR where  they use to recommend tipping the head back and moving the lower jaw forward to open the airway.

Another possible way to go is to see the oral surgeon who may suggest removal of some soft tissue to open the airway. I suggest pursuing this option if you have trouble wearing an oral appliance or if the appliance doesn't solve the problem.

Please remember that the number one suggestion is still to lose weight because the thinner you are the less likely that the pharynx will close up preventing air flow. The amount of weight it is necessary to lose depends upon the individual.

Unless you are a patient of Dr. Landin's and have seen him very recently, this should not be construed as dental advice but only as information. Please consult your own dentist in regard to your personal situation or condition.

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