How Do We Treat Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) impacts millions in the United States and unless addressed, is linked to serious long-term health complications. In today’s blog, your Austin, MN, dentists look how to identify the presence of OSA, and how we offer treatment with a custom-made and comfortable oral appliance.

The Dangers and Symptoms of OSA

Obstructive sleep apnea means that as we sleep, the soft tissues in the throat and rear of the mouth become too relaxed, collapsing and completely blocking airflow. We stop breathing briefly until the brain wakes us after detecting a drop in oxygen. While most don’t remember these episodes, they can happen hundreds of times a night and lead to frequent interruptions in the sleep cycle, so we feel exhausted the next day. Symptoms include daytime fatigue, snoring, headaches, irritability, and trouble focusing on tasks at work or school. Over the long-term, OSA has been linked with higher risks of weakened immune systems, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack.

Possible Causes

The disorder could be the result of sleeping on our backs instead of sides, obesity, neck circumference, sinus or allergy issues, a deviated septum, or an excessive consumption of alcohol before going to bed. As part of your exam, we will help identify the possible causes to ensure we prescribe the right treatments. We also may suggest changes to your daily resting habits, such as sleeping on your side, keeping your bedroom dark and cool, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, and going to bed and waking up at the same times daily to establish a schedule.

Treatment with Oral Appliance Therapy

An oral appliance often helps as well. To begin, we take detailed impressions and images of your smile, which we use to design and create an oral appliance. The device will look and fit much like a mouthguard, but is worn only at night. The device then moves the jaw forward to help prevent the collapse of soft issues as you rest. The appliance helps you enjoy breathing without interruption, and limits the risk of uncomfortable OSA-related symptoms. If you have any questions about treating OSA, or if you think you may need an oral appliance to improve your sleeping habits, then contact our team today. We want to make sure you enjoy a better night’s rest!


Our team wants to make sure you enjoy a good night’s rest and a better quality of life by treating sleep apnea. To learn more about our approach to sleep apnea treatments then schedule an appointment with the Potach and Mitchell Dental Clinic, contact our Austin, MN dental office today by calling 507-437-6312. Our office welcomes patients from Austin, MN and surrounding communities.