Sleep Apnea and Devices for Treating the Condition

Practicing dentistry in Toms River, New Jersey, Dr. Christopher Lillo received a DMD from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Christopher Lillo specializes in molar root canals and treating patients with sleep apnea.

A serious sleep disorder that largely impacts the overweight population over the age of 40, sleep apnea can affect individuals of all ages. Those living with the condition and not receiving treatment have a higher risk of diabetes, heart failure, and depression.

Sleep apnea comes in two forms, obstructive and central. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses, blocking the air passageway. Central sleep apnea results from instability in the respiratory control center, which prohibits communication between the brain and breathing muscles.

Diagnosed patients may be recommended a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to wear while sleeping. The device delivers constant air into the nose to keep airways open and working properly. A dentist can also suggest a variety of tools, including a mandibular advancement and tongue-retaining devices.

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