Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Registration Form

Sleep apnea is a condition which causes obstruction of the airway during sleep. An enlarged soft palate can impinge on the airway space. A retruded jaw can also push an enlarged tongue backward to narrow or close the space. A narrow airway causes difficulty sleeping and breathing. Sleep apnea causes daytime sleepiness which results in the loss of productivity. It can affect quality of life including but not limited to confusion, loss of memory, agitation, depression, hypertension, diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease and acid reflux. It has also been linked to every major systemic disease. It is imperative that we find a way to overcome it.

Dr. Sarah Deck Davis is committed to helping people identify and treat obstructive sleep apnea and to feel healthy again. She is a member of the Detroit Dental Sleep Network and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. She has advanced training to treat patients with problems associated with snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea by Dr. Sarah Deck Davis

Patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea, or those who have severe apnea that have not been able to tolerate their CPAP machines, may find relief with an oral mandibular advancement appliance. I am offering oral appliances that have been proven to effectively treat snoring and sleep apnea. In addition, I work with certified, medical sleep professionals and certified sleep centers for comprehensive diagnosis and eventually validation of successful treatment. I will also be offering screenings on recall appointments and for new patients and will start with the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Take home sleep testing is available through our office. 

Normal Airway

The soft palate and uvula are normal in length and total size. The tongue is normal in size and is angled forward. The upper airway at the level of the nasopharynx, oropharynx and laryngopharynx is normal in size and contour.

Abnormal Airway

During sleep, multiple sites of obstruction often occur in patients with OSA. An elongated and enlarged soft palate impinges on the posterior airway at the level of the nasopharynx and oral pharynx. Also, a retruded jaw may push an enlarged tongue posteriorly to impinge on the airway space.

People with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

The oral structures relax during sleep and cause a narrowing in the throat that is so great that breathing is severely limited or stops for short periods. This leads to interruption of sleep.

Common Causes

  • smaller than normal jaw
  • large tongue
  • long soft palate
  • enlarged tonsils
  • overweight

Symptoms and Warning Signs - Adults

  • daytime sleepiness
  • snoring
  • red and/or swollen throat
  • dry mouth
  • obesity
  • high blood pressure
  • difficulty concentrating
  • morning headaches or nausea
  • frequent night urination
  • large neck size

Symptoms and Warning Signs – Children

  • hyperactivity
  • squeaking or snoring
  • enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids
  • breathing difficulties
  • overweight


  • weight loss
  • avoidance of alcohol
  • caution with certain medications including sleeping pills
  • sleep on side or stomach
  • relieve nasal stuffiness:
  • medication
  • nasal dilators

Treatment Options

  • Surgery -- can correct some physical problems that obstruct breathing while sleeping: enlarged tonsils or adenoids, growths (including nasal polyps), deviated nasal septum, certain shapes/sizes of face, jaw or soft palate
  • CPAP -- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure: a light mask worn over nose that delivers air under pressure from a pump. Air enters the nasal passages and into throat where the air pressure holds the throat open allowing normal breathing and sleep. 50-70% are able to use CPAP.
  • Oral Appliances – These are oral devices that open breathing passages by bringing the jaw and tongue forward and raise the soft palate. Oral Appliances are appropriate for patients diagnosed with mild to moderate OSA or for patients with severe OSA who are unable to tolerate CPAP. If you have a snoring problem or suspect that you have OSA, we can help. Ask one of our hygienists or dental assistants for literature on OSA. If you snore and/or have sleeping problems, we can discuss testing options with you.

2277 Science Pkwy. | Okemos, MI 48864-2551 | Phone: 517-349-3040
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