Roughly 30 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a chronic condition that repeatedly interrupts your breathing while you sleep. These interruptions can last only for a few seconds, but they can happen dozens of times a night, making it hard to get a good night’s sleep.

Unfortunately, because the interruptions are so brief, many people don’t know they have sleep apnea, which means their treatment is delayed. Worse still, left untreated, sleep apnea increases the risks of serious medical problems, including heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.

The good news: Having regular dental exams can help diagnose sleep apnea early, even in people who are unaware they have the condition. Once diagnosed, the team at Constant and Contro Orthodontics can help you find a solution to help manage sleep apnea, so you can get the sleep your body needs to stay healthy.

Quick facts about sleep apnea

Sleep apnea (also called obstructive sleep apnea or OSA) happens when your airway is blocked on and off throughout the night, interrupting your normal breathing cycle. These interruptions typically happen when the tissues in your throat “drop down” as you relax, blocking the flow of air. Your tongue and jaw position can also cause breathing interruptions.

People who have apnea may snore or gasp for breath during the night. Even though these interruptions can be very brief, multiple breathing interruptions can take a toll on your health and the quality of your sleep.


In addition to the serious complications mentioned earlier, OSA can leave you feeling tired and irritable the following day. Lack of sleep can lead to poor performance and problems at work, at school, and in social situations. It can also increase your risk of accidents and injuries.

While CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) devices are routinely prescribed for OSA, they can be loud and bulky, causing additional problems with comfort and sleep. What’s more, these devices must be kept scrupulously clean to avoid infections, and you’ll need to take your device with you wherever you go — even on vacations.

3 treatments for sleep apnea

Fortunately, there are other safe, effective treatments for OSA that are much more comfortable and convenient. In fact, these three treatments can be an ideal solution for people with sleep apnea who don’t want to deal with the hassles of CPAP.

Custom nighttime oral appliances

Custom nighttime oral appliances are similar to night guards worn to prevent nighttime teeth grinding. These devices are custom made for your mouth so they fit comfortably while you sleep. Once in position, the device gently shifts your jaw position forward, helping to keep your airway open and preventing breathing interruptions throughout the night.

Airway orthodontics

Airway orthodontics is a preventive type of orthodontics that focuses on correcting jaw and bite issues early. Through the use of orthodontic devices, like braces or aligners, our team can help correct structural issues that can cause apnea or other functional problems.

Surgical orthodontics

In some cases, prevention with airway orthodontics isn’t feasible. In these instances, surgical orthodontics may help. Also called orthognathic surgery, surgical orthodontics uses special techniques to reposition the jaw and correct other structural abnormalities that interfere with normal breathing.


Our team performs a comprehensive evaluation of your jaw function and structure, your bite pattern, and other factors to recommend the optimal treatment for you.

Find a solution for your sleep apnea

A leading orthodontics practice in Cupertino, California, Constant and Contro Orthodontics is dedicated to helping patients of all ages enjoy better oral health and better overall wellness, too. If you have sleep apnea or if you suspect you do, we can help. To learn more, request an appointment online or over the phone with the team at Constant and Contro Orthodontics today.

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