Orthodontic Treatment Can Alleviate Sleep Apnea and Reduce Airway Issues

Sleep apnea is a serious disorder in which a person involuntarily stops breathing during their sleep cycle. This lack of oxygen can lead to symptoms such as severe headaches, chronic fatigue, and snoring, and can have a significant negative impact on your quality of life. In Louisville, KY and Radcliff, KY, Dr. L. Douglas Knight offers treatment for patients who suffer from sleep apnea and airway problems. Because several risk factors for sleep disorders include the positions of the oral and maxillofacial structures, orthodontic treatment offers long-term success for many patients. There are many treatment options available, and the method will depend on each individual.

Sleep apnea not only causes a multitude of health issues for the patient, but it is also disruptive for his or her partner. Someone suffering from sleep apnea may not be aware of the noise and commotion that is often a byproduct of interrupted sleep. Typically, after holding his or her breath for an extended period of time, the sleeper will partially wake and take large, forceful breaths. This can be worrisome for a sleep partner, who will often lie awake to make sure his or her significant other is still breathing.

Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can be caused by genetics, environmental factors, or a combination of both. If any of these indicators are true, you may have a higher risk of developing a sleep disorder:

  • Age: If you are over 40, you have a greater risk of developing sleep apnea.
  • Gender: The probability of sleep apnea is more likely in males.
  • Position of hard and soft tissues: The structure of your soft palate and airways can directly affect your breathing. Narrow passageways are insufficient for a large volume of air to pass through. The size of your soft tissues can also negatively affect sleep, such as enlarged tonsils or an oversized tongue. Oral and maxillofacial structures such as your jaws and temporomandibular joint contribute to the shape and size of your airways.
  • Mouth breathing: Chronic mouth breathers take too much air into the lungs, resulting in an increase of negative pressure on the airways. This also leads to the development of severe dry mouth, which keeps the tissues inflamed and results in discomfort.
  • Sleeping on your back: Sleep position plays a significant role in patients with sleep disorders. When you lie on your back, there is an increased intake of air, which can result in snoring. This sleep position also encourages the lower jaw to relax, which decreases the diameter of the upper airway.
  • Sinus problems: Congested nasal passages or chronic sinus issues can interfere with normal breathing.
  • Obesity: Overweight patients have a higher risk of developing sleep disorders, due to the enlargement of soft tissue in the back of the throat.
  • Large neck size: The risk of airway collapse increases in patients with thicker necks. Average neck circumference is 17 inches in male patients and 16 inches in female patients.

Symptoms of Sleep Disorders

Sleep apnea can exhibit a variety of warning signs. If you notice one or more of these symptoms, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder:

  • Snoring
  • Interrupted sleep
  • Frequent bathroom trips throughout the night
  • Morning fatigue
  • Nighttime asthma
  • Dry mouth
  • Severe coughing or wheezing upon waking

Treatment Approaches for Sleep Apnea

Orthodontic treatment can play a vital role in the alleviation of sleep disorders. When determining the most practical treatment for you, Dr. Knight will evaluate how your bite fits together, the movement of your jaw joints, and your jaw position, among other factors. Treatment options for sleep apnea range from simple to complex. Your treatment will be determined by your individual needs. Many patients have experienced significant improvement with these solutions:

  • Myofunctional therapy: Focused on developing healthy muscle patterns, myofunctional therapy offers corrective facial exercises to encourage proper function.
  • Buteyko breathing technique: This form of therapy concentrates on the importance of nasal breathing and encourages normal air volume. Because sleep apnea can be a result of mouth breathing, this is particularly helpful to ensure the airways remain protected and healthy.
  • CPAP: One of the most common treatments for sleep apnea, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure provides a steady stream of air to keep the airways open during sleep. While successful for many patients, some find the required mask to be too obtrusive.
  • Oral appliance therapy: Like a retainer or night guard, an appliance can be custom made to help maintain correct position the tongue and jaw.

Schedule a Consultation

Sleep disorders can severely limit your quality of life. The solution may be easier than you think. To find out if orthodontic treatment can eliminate your sleep issues, schedule a complimentary evaluation with Dr. Knight. Call our office at (502) 327-6453 (Louisville) or (270) 351-5151 (Radcliff), or schedule an appointment online.

Dr. L. Douglas Knight
Meet Dr. L. Douglas Knight

Dr. Knight is so nice and you get treated so well there. Everyone is nice and friendly. They always make sure you’re taken care of.A Patient

Knight Orthodontics Locations

Louisville, KY

L. Douglas Knight D.M.D.
3210 Westport Green Pl.
Louisville, KY 40241
(502) 327-6453

Radcliff, KY

L. Douglas Knight D.M.D.
555 W. Lincoln Trail Blvd.
Radcliff, KY 40160
(270) 351-5151

Google Reviews

Carrie Jordan
Carrie Jordan
21:33 20 Aug 18
Hands down the best! Ensures that treatment plan is working and adjusts it as necessary. Great office staff, always friendly and helpful! Thanks for the smile!!
Ellie Fields
Ellie Fields
17:48 21 May 18
Very helpful and very nice staff!! Never had to wait to be called back. Made having braces a little bit better.
Benjamin Ahmetagic
Benjamin Ahmetagic
15:39 14 May 18
Dr. Knight and his staff couldn't have been more skilled at what they do. I initially got braces just to correct my teeth, but they found irregularities in my jaw positioning and I ended up having corrective surgery about a year and a half with the braces on. The recovery process afterwards was tough, but they were more than accommodating. I couldn't recommend them highly enough.
Eric D
Eric D
14:14 10 May 18
I am rarely impressed by people who do their jobs. Dr knight and the entire staff impress! They are friendly, professional and very efficient. Those are rare qualities these days.
Kristen Cox
Kristen Cox
15:25 25 Apr 18
Dr. Knight and his team have always made me feel comfortable and welcome in the facility. Aside from the team being extremely friendly, this is one of the most professional practices I have been to in a long time. Customer service goes a long way nowadays and Dr. Knight and his team go above and beyond. I will continue to recommend Dr. Knight to friends and family in need of orthodontics. Kristen Cox
Angela Shupe
Angela Shupe
01:35 10 Apr 18
Dr. Knight has provided service to three of my children. One child presented much more than a simple case requiring two rounds of braces, multiple retainers and even oral surgery, all of which Dr. Knight carefully and caringly oversaw. He worked closely with the oral surgeon to achieve the best possible results. In addition, he referred us to a dentist to finish the process with additional cosmetic procedures. The staff at the office are all wonderful to work with. They are very accommodating of scheduling issues and quick to follow up when there are questions or concerns.
Heather Shoopman
Heather Shoopman
20:06 04 Apr 18
Dr. Knight and his staff are wonderful. They get to know you on a personal level. It was a wonderful experience and I am grateful for the amazing work the office provided. I have a beautiful smile and I owe that all to Knight Orthodontics!
Melissa Crawford
Melissa Crawford
18:38 26 Mar 18
Our boys love Dr. Knight! It's been a great experience all the way around, the staff is super helpful, appointments are quick, and the results are remarkable! Highly recommend you won't be disappointed.
Charles Sima
Charles Sima
18:39 16 Mar 18
Dr Knight and his staff are exceptional! They go above and beyond taking care of their clients. And most importantly they get your smile to utmost perfection! A+!!! If you require orthodontics then Dr Knight is who you should see!
Cody Everett
Cody Everett
18:20 14 Mar 18
Dr. Knight and Staff are wonderful people who do great work. You can feel that they genuinely care about your dental progress and are always willing to accommodate your needs as a patient. I am elated with my new smile.
Tara Moore
Tara Moore
17:04 10 Mar 18
I had braces in my teens and pretty extensive work to correct my overbite and alignment. They made it as painless as they possibly could, especially for a teenager. They were always so friendly. I just called to get my records to have on file (I am 25 now) and they told me Dr. Knight had to sign off on them for me to receive them. He called me personally the next day- a Saturday- to see how I was doing and to let me know I could come get my records. What an awesome guy, an amazing practice, and friendly and helpful staff. I definitely recommend them.
Nikki Melton
Nikki Melton
14:14 08 Mar 18
Absolutely love the staff and Dr Knight! They are always very friendly and take the time to listen to concerns and answer questions. They have done amazing things with my 8 year olds teeth and I look forward to how ever much time we have left as they continue to make her smile perfect.
Becky Meredith
Becky Meredith
23:23 07 Mar 18
Everyone is so friendly and very professional. I really didn’t want braces but I’m so pleased with the result. I recommend Dr Knight and his office staff highly!
Patrick Thompson
Patrick Thompson
22:20 22 Jan 18
A very professional, efficient, and friendly doctor and office staff. And great results for my teen daughter.
Noshia Saunders
Noshia Saunders
23:43 21 Dec 17
Staff is always pleasant and I was surprised at my second visit they knew my name as soon as I walked in! Very family and community oriented.
Sentinel-7
Sentinel-7
22:40 19 Dec 17
Great service and excellent follow up appointments whether you have to have braces or anything else you need. They also have brand new, very useful and innovative technology at Knight Orthodontics. I would highly recommend it.
Grace Linscott
Grace Linscott
21:47 03 Nov 17
The workers were excellent. They took really good care of me. Dr. Knight was awesome couldn’t have asked for a better orthodontist
Genevieve Mulkins
Genevieve Mulkins
20:15 01 Nov 17
Dr Knight and his staff provide outstanding care; they are always kind; work around our busy schedule and are always understanding. I highly recommend Dr Knight to everyone.
George Atkins
George Atkins
13:46 01 Nov 17
The staff were all very nice and friendly! Dr. Knight had me in and out of braces very quickly and easily.
D Pedro
D Pedro
00:33 31 Oct 17
Dr. Knight did an awesome job on our child’s teeth. Other Orthodontists said the job couldn’t be done. Dr Knight not only said he could do it, he took away all our concerns. We highly recommend Knight Orthodontics!!
Emily Cyphers
Emily Cyphers
14:18 24 Oct 17
I went in for a permanent retainer repair for the first time with Dr. Knight, and had a wonderful experience. I'm new to Kentucky and he talked with me like he new me for years, he was so personable and took the time to get to know me. He had never worked on my teeth before but knew exactly what to do to re-straighten them and get a retainer back in. There is no "new patient" fee which is always nice. He seems to truly care about his patients' smile (teeth) and I will continue to come back to him for any orthodontic care.
Will Heemsoth
Will Heemsoth
21:02 11 Oct 17
Dr Knight and his staff are amazing. My son's treatment went very well and we are tremendously happy with the results. Scheduling was super easy and we always got in and out on time.
David Jones
David Jones
16:54 05 Oct 17
Dr. Knight is an expert and simply one of the best orthodontics in the area. His staff are very friendly and professional. I highly recommend, especially if you have a complex or difficult case .
Beth Searcy
Beth Searcy
01:54 07 Sep 17
My issue was more complicated than simply braces to straighten teeth - it included extensive jaw advancement surgery as well. Dr Knight and his staff were great through the entire 18 month process - always available, always willing to answer any questions and they also maintained constant communication with the surgeon so that everyone was always on the same page which was very comforting.
Harrison Bratton
Harrison Bratton
22:27 01 Sep 17
Staff is great, extremely helpful and reliable. Dr.Knight suggests the best things for you and is very good at his job. My smile is bigger and brighter thanks to them !
Reggie Smith
Reggie Smith
20:53 10 Aug 17
All 4 of my children have had braces at Dr. Knight. He's been been wonderful and I'd highly recommend him. His staff have been really great to work with as well!
Marla Harris
Marla Harris
19:52 09 Aug 17
Dr. Knight and his staff have been wonderful throughout the entire process starting with braces for my daughter and now my son. Both of my children had positive experiences with Dr. Knight and his staff. I would highly recommend Knight Orthodontics to anyone. Thanks for making my children's smiles even more beautiful! Marla Harris
thomas troxtle
thomas troxtle
19:20 14 Jun 17
Dr. Knight and his team are remarkable! I can't give enough positive feedback about them. Caring, kind, attentive and personal. It is definitely 100% about the clients. Great work. Life changing. 10 out of 5 stars!!
Elizabeth Clark
Elizabeth Clark
00:28 04 Jun 17
I have enjoyed my second round of wearing braces. He has done an excellent job correcting my bite and the time flew by. Before I knew it, my braces were coming off. Dr. Knight and his team really care and take an interest. I used the emergency number, after hours, and Dr. Knight was there for me. When my children come to the point in their life when they will need orthodontics, I will make their appointments with Dr. Knight! Thank you, Dr. Knight and team!
Macreena Groody
Macreena Groody
21:21 02 Jun 17
I've been coming to Knight Orthodontics since I was in grade school. The team is so friendly and professional, you will always be greeted with a smile. Dr. Knight and his incredible staff make me feel right at home. Dr. Knight has done an amazing job not just on my own teeth, but on my mom and brother's as well. I highly recommend this office!
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