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Biscayne Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Biscayne Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Dr. Rita Dargham believes in treating the “whole person”, not just your “teeth”. As an expert in oral health, Dr. Dargham must recognize that much, if not all, that occurs in our body, may be manifested, or begin, inside our mouths, involving the hard and soft tissues that make up this very important aspect of our overall health.

Dr. Rita Dargham, and the medical profession as a whole, is quickly learning, and recognizing, how obstructive sleep apnea (or OSA), the most common form of sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that occurs when a persons’ breathing is interrupted during sleep, at times up to hundreds of times per night, may affect our overall health. People with untreated sleep apnea actually stop breathing, for several seconds at a time, repeatedly during their sleep. As a result, the brain and body may not get enough oxygen.

What causes OSA?

Obstructive sleep apnea is typically caused by a blockage of the airway. This happens when the uvula, part of the soft tissue in the back of the throat, collapses during sleep.

Who is at risk of Sleep Apnea?

Adults and children alike are at risk for developing sleep apnea. Certain features of our anatomy, family history, weight, and gender may increase our risks. More specifically, these risk factors may include:

• Being Male
• Being overweight
• Having a retruded lower jaw
• Having large adenoids or tonsils
• Having an over enlarged tongue
• Having a thick neck
• Having reflux issues
• Having a Family History of Sleep Apnea
• Some case of nasal obstruction

Sleep apnea has now been recognized as a contributing factor in several health conditions. Some of these may include:

  • Hypertension
  • ADD
  • Fatigue
  • ADHD
  • Snoring
  • Migraines
  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of Energy
  • TMD
  • Clenching of Jaws/Bruxism
  • Diabetes
  • Trigger Point Pain
  • Obesity
  • Heart disease/Stroke
  • Insomnia
  • Depression

Studies have shown that over 50% of adults suffer from some level of sleep apnea, and that over 90% of those go undiagnosed.

Additionally, untreated sleep apnea is associated with poor performance in daily activities, both at work and school. It is also thought to possibly be responsible for children’s academic and developmental under- achievements. Poor behavior patterns, anxiety, and unruliness in children and adolescents are thought to also be associated with sleep apnea that goes untreated.

How is it treated

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a condition that should be evaluated, diagnosed and treated by your entire medical team. This may include your primary care physician, ENT, dentist, orthodontist, oral surgeon, and sleep study centers, among others.

Treatments may range from altering behavior patterns in mild cases to surgery in more advanced conditions. These may include:
• Losing weight
• Avoid alcohol / sleeping pills
• Avoid sleeping on your back
• Stop smoking

Dental Sleep Appliance Therapy

Dr. Dargham can make you a custom-fabricated dental device that helps keep the airway open during sleep. This option is gaining wide acceptance since other, more involved, options (CPAP) are associated with less compliance, thus effectiveness. Ask Dr. Dargham how this may help you or your loved one.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

The more advanced sleep apnea patients wear a mask over their mouth/nose during sleep. This delivers a continuous flow of air into the nose, helping keep the airway open and thus resulting in more regular breathing.


Surgery becomes an option when the anatomical structures of the mouth, nose or jaw need to be repositioned in order to facilitate ease of airflow.

Examples include, but are not limited to:
• Enlarged tonsils relative to the airway space
• Deviated nasal septum
• Small, narrow, or retruded lower jaw with an overbite
• Enlarged soft palate or uvular tissue

Please contact Dr. Dargham at our office should you want more information or an evaluation of what you think may be sleep apnea or snoring difficulties.

Please contact Dr. Dargham and her team to schedule your initial consultation. For your convenience, Dr. Dargham welcomes patients in one of two locations (Coconut Grove Dental Clinic and Biscayne Blvd. Dental Clinic), both located in the heart of Miami Dade County.

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