Sleep apnea therapy can use oral appliances as an alternative to CPAP. Oral appliances have been registered by the FDA and may be used to treat sleep apnea when administered by a qualified dentist trained in Dental Sleep Therapy.

Dr. Martin Denbar has used Oral Appliance Therapy to treat sleep disordered breathing for over 19 years in the Austin area. He has treated over 1,500 cases, ranging from the simplest to the most difficult. As the only general dentist that is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine in Central Texas, Dr. Denbar has completed hundreds of hours of continuing education, lectures nationally, and trains other dentists in this field.


Facts about Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Snoring is the loud, harsh noise that people make when they inhale during sleep. The sound is caused by the vibrations of the loose tissue in the back of their throat. How loud can this sound be? The loudest recorded snoring was 87 decibels. A lawnmower is 95 decibels and a jackhammer is 85 decibels. It is easy to see why some couples sleep in different bedrooms. You are not alone in the fight to resolve you snoring issue. Approximately 40% of adults over the age of 40 are snorers. In real numbers that means over 45 million Americans are chronic snorers and as the population ages it will only get worse.

Think of the dynamics of snoring. When you fall asleep your tongue, muscles and loose tissues surrounding your airway relax. These relaxed tissues begin to cover the airway and make the opening smaller. Air passing through the smaller airway increases in speed causing the loose tissues to rattle against the throat. This is the snoring sound. The narrower the airway, the faster the air moves, and the louder the snoring.

If the airway completely closes off, we now have the condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea. You are now not only socially unacceptable, but this lack of oxygen actually endangers your health. Left untreated, the daytime fatigue factor can make you more accident-prone. When your tongue completely covers your airway, due to the lack of inherent muscle tone, the source of oxygen to your lungs is closed off. Body oxygen levels drop until your brain kicks in and you gasp, throwing your tongue off the airway opening and allowing you to gasp for a breath of air. The danger is twofold. First, since you cannot get a restful night of sleep due to all the interruptions, you are constantly tired and more susceptible to accidents. Secondly, the lower body oxygen levels you experience while asleep have serious consequences on your cardiovascular system. You are now a prime target for a heart attack or stroke. The following are the most common symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea:

Sleep Apnea Treatment
Loud Snoring
Periodic Stoppages in Breathing
Irritability
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
Personality change
Poor Memory
Difficulty concentrating
Excessive nighttime urination


Certain factors can play an important role in determining if you are going to become a serious snorer or develop sleep apnea.

Excessive weight: Obesity is a major predisposing factor in obstructive sleep apnea. The thicker the neck the more weight and pressure on the tissues surrounding the airway.

Small lower jaw: A small lower jaw has less room for the tongue and soft tissues. The smaller space decreases the size of the airway opening and increases your chance for snoring and apnea.

Sleeping on your back: This position allows gravity to pull your tongue and lower jaw down and backwards. This creates a smaller airway opening and increases your chance for snoring and apnea. Approximately 60% of the population will have increased snoring and more apnea when they sleep on their backs.

Alcohol and certain medications: Antihistamines, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, and alcohol will make your snoring and sleep apnea worse. These drugs allow for greater muscle relaxation in the soft tissues and muscles in the throat. This can lead to the narrowing of the airway once again.

Sleep Apnea Treatment
Smoking: Smoking causes irritation of the tissues in the back of the throat. This irritation can cause mucous formation which causes congestion in the airway passages and throat.

Genetics: Some of the most unlikely individuals develop apnea.

Not being breast fed: Infants that are breast fed have a harder time getting milk from a breast than from a bottle. Breast feeding causes the infant's tongue to widen over the hard palate and press the nipple hard to express the breast milk. This action causes the soft bones at the top of the mouth, the hard palate, to widen due to the constant pressure of the tongue. A wider hard palate means a wider opening for the airway in the posterior airway space. Bottle fed babies have a higher hard palate because the tongue is not required to press on the nipple with any force to express the milk. Therefore a higher hard palate means a narrower posterior airway space.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a serious health problem. Because it can effect so many facets of our lives, our loved ones lives and even strangers lives, it should always be taken seriously and treated by qualified doctors.


Austin Sleep Apnea and Snoring Therapy provides an alternative to CPAP therapy for snoring and mild to severe sleep apnea.

Insurance Assignments Accepted:

Our dentist, Dr. Denbar, is a Medicare and medical insurance in-network provider for most major medical insurance carriers.


Advanced Dental Sleep Business Seminar

Dr. Denbar is teaching an advanced billing and clinical seminar in Dental Sleep Medicine. This Dental Sleep Continuing Education (CE) Seminar focuses on medical insurance reimbursement, business principles and the clinical aspects of this field. This course picks up where most clinical courses end and guides you through the practical business aspect of dental sleep medicine while illuminating the medical-legal implications.


Learn more about this seminar