Integrative Dental Arts | Cosmetic Dentistry | Dr. Kathleen Carson

Dental Treatments for Obstructive Sleep Apnea In Agoura Hills, CA

A Real Solution for Snoring, Sleep Apnea & TMJ

The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates the at least 22 million Americans suffer from Sleep Apnea and that 80% of them may be undiagnosed. Many people don’t know that snoring is not normal and should never occur. But, even if you or your loved one does not snore, you could still be suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) and other Sleep Related Breathing Disorders (SRBD).

OSA & UARS have been linked to a number of serious medical conditions such as hypertension, anxiety, obesity, diabetes, asthma, and depression. Dr. Carson and her team at Integrative Dental Arts are passionate about your overall health.

Dr. Carson is an Integrated Provider of the Vivos System. The Vivos System is a non-invasive, nonsurgical treatment that helps allow for optimal tongue positioning.

Sleep apnea is a common but serious condition that is being more commonly diagnosed for patients today. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the structure of your mouth and upper airway relaxing and blocking off your airway. This typically occurs as you sleep and causes a period where you aren’t breathing. As your brain recognizes the lack of oxygen, it forces the body to wake up and begin to breathe again. Unfortunately, this often occurs dozens or even hundreds of times throughout the night for people who have sleep apnea. 

Sleep apnea is often diagnosed by your significant other due to you jerking or twitching through the night, excessive snoring, or hearing your breathing stop and start throughout the night. Individuals who have sleep apnea may have symptoms of being tired even after “sleeping” through a whole night. While some people may brush sleep apnea off as a minor discomfort, it can have significant health impacts, including stroke and an increased risk of heart disease. 

DNA/mRNA System

The DNA appliance has been shown to help improve facial balance and structure, expand and open the upper airway, and allow teeth to come into alignment naturally Other benefits of a DNA appliance includes:


  • Elevated energy levels
  • More pleasing and balanced smile
  • Improved facial esthetics
  • More pronounced cheekbones
  • Straighter teeth
  • More room in mouth for tongue to “fit properly”

Sleep Related Breathing Disorders - Snoring, Sleep Apnea & UARS

TMJ symptoms can be clues that OSA or UARS may be present

According to some studies, about 75% of patients who suffer from OSA and/or UARS also have jaw pain, head pain or other “TMJ symptoms”. Many experts agree that the reason for this is “clenching” Clenching (or grinding of the teeth) tends to happen at night when you are asleep and your airway becomes blocked or obstructed. Clenching is something your body does to try to clear obstructions in your airway and make room in your mouth for your tongue.

Clenching strains the jaw joints (temporomadibular joints or TMJ) and over works the facial muscle. Over time, this can lead to a myriad of symptoms and pain patterns including:

  • Pain or tenderness of the jaw.
  • Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints.
  • Aching pain in and around the ears.
  • Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing.
  • Aching facial pain.
  • Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close the mouth.

Were You Aware of These Facts?


During sleep, your tongue and throat tissues may relax enough to narrow your airway. Snoring is the sound that is produced when air passes through this partially blocked area causing tissues to vibrate.

OSA is a medical condition where your tongue and soft tissues actually close off your airway and stop air from entering your lungs. When this happens during sleep, the oxygen in your blood decreases, your heart races, and your brain panics-causing you to startle awake. After a few good breaths, the cycle repeats itself, all night long


Snoring is more than just a loud and annoying noise, it can be an indicator of a Sleep Breathing Disorder (SBD) that can be very serious. Approximately 42 million Americans have a SBD.

The most common form of a SBD is Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a medical condition where your tongue and soft tissues close off your airway and stop air from entering your lungs.

70%of heart attack ” patients have mild OSA686%of obese type 2 Diabetic patients suffer from Sleep Apnea12
43%of patients with mild OSA have Hypertension548%of type 2 Diabetes sufferers have Sleep Apnea7
100Kcar accidents annually84Xmore at risk for stroke9
  • Sleep Apnea can also cause memory problems, weight gain, impotence, and headaches if not treated.
  • Untreated OSA can lead to a 30% or more reduced survivability rate over the course of 20 years11.
  • Drowsy driving is responsible for 100,000 car accidents, 40,000 injuries, and 1,550 deaths per year8.
  • Approximately 38,000 deaths occur on an annual basis that relate to cardiovascular problems that in one way or another are connected to Sleep Apnea. These problems include high blood pressure, hypertension and stroke, among others10.
  • Inconsistent breathing during sleep
  • Snoring
  • Hypertension
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Gasping, choking, or coughing during sleep
  • Extreme sleepiness throughout the day .
  • Lethargic feelings
  • Morning headaches
  • Lack of interest in hobbies
  • Dry mouth and/or sore throat n the morning
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Trouble concentrating or remembering things

Prevalence similarto Asthma (20 million) and Diabetes (23.6 million of US population)4

1 in 5 adults have mild OSA2 1 in 15 have moderate to severe OSA 2
9% of middle-aged women and 25% of middle-aged men suffer from OSA3 75% of severe SOB cases remain undiagnosed3

1.Younger al. New Eng10 Med1993 2 ‘,Ming et al. fun Med Assoc 2004 2.Marshall et al. Sleep 2008 US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention2008 Young et al. Sleep 2008 kuniyashi et al. J Am Coll CardioI2008 ‘ o’keeffes Patterson. Obes Surg2004 ‘ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration http:// sleepdisoniersgu /sleepapne a/s1 eep- apnea-Mat ‘ilia. Ftml * National Commission on Sleep Disoers Research u Sleep Disordered Breathing and Mortality:Eighteen-YearrdFollow-up &the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort; Department of Population Health Sciences. Depadment of Medicine, On iversity of Wisconsin-Madison, adi son,MI. Ste e 5. 5008 Au 8,31(81: 1071-1078″ Sjostrometal. Thorax 2005


Answer the questions below to find out if you might be at risk of having Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Use the following scale to choose the most appropriate number for each situation:

0 = would never doze or sleep
1= slight chance of dozing or sleeping
2= moderate chance of dozing or sleeping
3 = high chance of dozing or sleeping

Talk to your dentist about your OSA self assessment.

Epworth Sleepiness Scale reprintedwith permission of theAssociated Professional Sleep Societies (Johns NM; ANew Method for IdeasuringDaytime Sleepiness: The Epworth Sleepiness Scale. 1991:14(6):540-545).

Sitting and reading __________
Watching TV___________
Sitting, inactive in a public place__________
As a passenger in a car for an hour or more__________
Lying down to rest in the afternoon__________
Sitting and talking to someone_________
Sitting quietly after a lunch (without alcohol)__________
Stopped for a few minutes in traffic while driving__________
TOTAL SCORE (add the scores up)__________

Treating Your Sleep Apnea


There are two typical approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea. The first usually involves a respiratory therapist who ensures that air is continually pushed into your body. After a sleep study is conducted, a CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine, is prescribed. This treatment uses a small box (about the size of a VCR or Xbox) attached to a hose and a mask. Patients fit the mask tightly over their face when they sleep, and the machine constantly pushes air into the mask and forces air into the patient’s lungs. 

While this approach effectively gets oxygen into your body, it can be cumbersome, and many masks and hoses can become contaminated with bacteria that can easily be spread into your body and cause sickness or infection. 

Talking to Your Agoura Hills Dentist About a Better Sleep Apnea Treatment

Another option to treat your sleep apnea uses the expertise of your dentist. Many people overlook their dentist as a solution for treating sleep apnea, but their expertise allows them to understand the mouth’s detailed structure. 

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by relaxed tissues, like the tongue, that obstructs the airway.  Your dentist has one possible solution. There are specific dental devices that are designed to help with sleep apnea. Some of these can help hold the jaw and mouth in a better position while you sleep, and others specifically target holding the tongue in place.  

Your insurance plan often covers these sleep devices. Additionally, they are smaller and less obtrusive, so your partner doesn’t have to get used to the noise or appearance of the CPAP machine. Many patients also complain about feeling claustrophobic when they place the mask over their mouth and nose. 

Schedule an appointment with the friendly staff at Integrative Dental Arts in Agoura Hills today to see which approach can help you get better sleep and alleviate the symptoms associated with obstructive sleep apnea.