Skip to content

Sleep Apnea and Appliance Therapy in Escondido

Woman with pillow over ears next to man snoringSleep Apnea Disorder or Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder that causes a sleeper to stop breathing, perhaps hundreds of times, during the night. It is considered an apnea episode when the pauses in breath last 10 seconds or longer. OSA is typically accompanied by disturbed sleep, loud snoring, and daytime fatigue or sleepiness. These episodes occur when the tissues collapse and block the airway, temporarily stopping breathing.

Frequently the person with OSA is unaware that they have the condition because the episodes occur while he or she is sleeping.

Symptoms may include:

  • Daytime sleepiness, dozing while inactive
  • Morning headaches, dry mouth, or sore throat
  • Fatigue, irritability, and impaired mental function
  • Loud, chronic snoring accompanied by choking gasps
Common causes:

  • Abnormalities in the structure of the airway, skull, or face
  • Weak muscles surrounding the airway
  • Enlarged tonsils or tongue
  • Soft palate problems
  • Obesity, age, tobacco and alcohol use can increase the risk of OSA

Effects of Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea causes a reduction in the blood oxygen level and can lead complications ranging from sleepiness to possibly increasing the risk of death. Studies have linked OSA to a number of serious concerns such as high blood pressure, heart attack, coronary artery disease, stroke, asthma, diabetes, high-risk pregnancies, depression, eye disorders, and cancer.


Diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea can be challenging because the symptoms are not very specific. A sleep study, either at home or in a sleep clinic, is necessary for an accurate diagnosis. If it is confirmed that a patient has OSA, a number of potential treatments may be recommended, beginning with simple lifestyle changes. Because of the potential link to severe medical conditions, OSA that does not respond to lifestyle changes requires further treatment.

The Most Effective Treatment: CPAP

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure) is the most effective treatment. These machines deliver a continuous flow of air through a nasal mask to keep the airway open. Unfortunately, patient compliance with this treatment is low due to discomfort and inconvenience. Patients complain of nose and throat irritation, claustrophobia, eye irritation, upper respiratory infections, and a number of other problems.

Fortunately, oral appliances offered by some dentists, such as Dr. Malone, can provide effective treatment for those with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.

Dental devices offer a number of benefits:

  • Significantly fewer apnea episodes
  • Improved sleep
  • Reduction in frequency and loudness of snoring
  • High compliance rate

Intra-oral devices provided by a dentist have been shown to provide significantly better long-term control of OSA than the standard surgical treatment for this condition.

Struggling with Sleep Apnea?

Call now to schedule an appointment (760) 746-2559.


Sleep Apnea Appliance Escondido | (760) 746-2559