Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder characterized by repeated pauses in breathing throughout the night. It occurs when tissues in the throat overrelax and hinder the free flow of air. Physicians often recommend CPAP therapy as the best sleep apnea treatment, while dentists tend to favor oral appliance therapy. But did you know there is another noninvasive treatment that may help? Let’s talk about why treating OSA is so important and how you may be able to benefit from NightLase laser therapy.
The Importance of Treatment
Many people regard sleep apnea as a mere annoyance, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Its immediate consequences include daytime exhaustion, loud snoring, irritability, and an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents. Over the long term, it can contribute to unwanted weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature death.
You might be able to do some things on your own to lessen the severity of sleep apnea. Sleeping on your side, cutting back on alcohol and caffeine, and losing excess weight may provide some benefits. However, to truly conquer OSA, professional treatment is usually necessary.
What Is NightLase?
Most people’s perception of laser dentistry is limited to its surgical applications, but NightLase therapy isn’t a surgery at all. In fact, it is completely noninvasive. The treatment uses a laser to heat up the tissues in the throat, causing the collagen in those tissues to contract. The result is an expansion of the airway that facilitates better breathing.
The procedure usually requires just one appointment and requires little to no downtime. It is also painless; patients describe it as feeling like having a fine mist of hot water sprayed in their throat. Most people experience immediate results. It is common for NightLase patients to experience a reduction in OSA symptoms and snoring of at least 50 percent. Results of the treatment may last for several months to a year before another NightLase session is necessary.
Is NightLase Better Than Other Options?
NightLase certainly has its advantages. However, since NightLase may not make OSA go away completely, it is usually best to use it in conjunction with other treatments. For example, if you were previously told that your OSA was too severe to be treated with an oral appliance and required a CPAP machine, NightLase might lessen your OSA’s severity to the point where an oral appliance would be ideal for you. Your local sleep apnea expert can help you explore your treatment options and settle on the one that best fits your circumstances.
Are you looking for a long-term solution to sleep apnea? Laser dentistry may play a big role in helping you get the rejuvenating rest you deserve.
Meet the Practice
Dr. Neely Thornton is an experienced dentist who focuses on using the latest techniques and technology to benefit both her patients’ oral health and overall well-being. She offers oral appliance therapy and NightLase for individuals who suffer from OSA. To learn more about Dr. Thornton and our practice, contact us at 770-422-7727.