Just like high blood pressure and diabetes, sleep apnea is a chronic disease that can impact your quality of life and damage your overall health. Patients with untreated sleep apnea are known to suffer an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and that risk increases over time.

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, our dedicated team at Moonlight Sleep REMedies can help you say goodbye to sleep apnea without relying on CPAP machines. Dr. Mika Miyamoto, DMD, is one of the top dental sleep practitioners in Portland, OR, who works closely with your physician to find a lasting solution to sleep-related breathing disorders.

How We Treat Sleep Apnea

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is the most well-known treatment for sleep apnea. It uses different levels of air pressure to keep your breathing passages open while sleeping. Pertaining to this, you wouldn’t be here if CPAP was effectively mitigating your symptoms.

You are not alone. About 50% of patients who start CPAP therapy discontinue it within the first year or do not use it as prescribed (less than 4 hours per night, 5 night a week on average) because:

  • The mask can be uncomfortable to wear throughout the night.
  • The mask covers the nose and mouth, which can trigger feelings of claustrophobia.
  • The airflow can dry out the nose and throat, resulting in itchiness or even nosebleeds.
  • The sound of the CPAP machine can be disruptive.
  • Setting up the CPAP and cleaning the mask can be taxing, especially for frequent travelers.

If this is you, the good news is other effective treatments are available. We at Moonlight Sleep REMedies don’t believe in pushing you towards a certain treatment – we know that if you are not comfortable with it, you will never be consistent with it! To that end, we offer the following approaches:

Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)

Oral appliance therapy is the silent, discreet weapon against snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) you use while sleeping. It involves a custom-made device similar in appearance to a sports mouthguard, but it’s designed with precision to tackle the disordered breathing head-on. The appliance pushes the lower jaw forward and downword slightly in order to move the tongue forward with your jaw to keep your airway open even when you are not conscious.

This prevents the airway blockages that cause OSA episodes. Dr. Miyamoto fabricates the device based on your unique oral structure to fit your mouth perfectly. If you have mild to moderate sleep apnea and cannot tolerate CPAP, you could be a strong candidate for OAT. Even if you have a severe sleep apnea, if you can tolerate using the oral appliance everyday most of the night, it is much better than not using the CPAP at all.

NightLase® Laser Treatment

Imagine your throat as a flexible tube that, during sleep, can become too relaxed. This can lead to a narrowed airway, causing snoring or sleep apnea, where breathing momentarily stops. NightLase® is a laser therapy that applies a controlled amount of heat to the tissues in your throat. This heat does not burn; it stimulates these tissues to tighten up safely.

By firming up the throat’s tissues, NightLase® helps keep your airway open throughout your sleep. And since it is non-invasive, there is no need for sutures, anesthesia, or a recovery period. One full course of NightLase® usually takes three sessions, each 20-30 minutes long. You can simply schedule a session during your lunch break and return to your routine activities immediately.

Myofunctional Therapy

When you have a physical obstruction in your mouth or throat contributing to your sleep apnea, the muscles in these parts have likely lost their strength. Dr. Miyamoto collaborates with myofunctional therapists to prescribe you a series of exercises to re-strengthen these muscles. Stronger muscles in this area can help keep your airway open while you sleep.

The exercises are simple and can be done at home, like pushing the tongue against the roof of the mouth or practicing swallowing patterns that engage the correct muscles. It’s a bit like physical therapy but for sleep apnea. Myofunctional therapy may be recommended to you in addition to oral appliance therapy.

Still have questions?

Contact us for further assistance.

Take the First Step to Better Sleep: Book Your Consultation

Whether it’s through repositioning the jaw, tightening throat tissues, or strengthening muscles, we at Moonlight Sleep REMedies address the root causes of your obstructive sleep apnea for maximum results. We know there is no one-size-fits-all solution, so we may use a combination of different treatments and recommend lifestyle changes to ensure your sleep and general health start improving significantly from the start

After your initial consultation with Dr. Miyamoto and you have a diagnosis for your sleep apnea from your sleep study, you will be invited to have an appointment to complete a head and neck exam and record taking, including a CBCT scan. At this appointment, we can see the true extent of sleep apnea. By the end of your appointment, we can move on to determine which treatment, or combination of treatments, is best suited to your specific situation. We work closely with your primary care provider to monitor your whole well-being throughout the treatment.

If you are unsure which treatment will work for you but believe that CPAP is not for you, contact us today. Let us help you take charge of your health and show you that a good night’s sleep is within easy reach.