Sleep Apnea And Sleep Treatment At Sleep Permian


While we sleep, there are many things that can give us a restless night, resulting in headaches and/or fatigue in the morning. A condition called sleep apnea could be the cause. If you have experienced issues with snoring, breathing pauses, or gasps while you sleep, you may have sleep apnea. The condition is very serious, and can lead to debilitating, even life-threatening health problems if it is not treated. At Sleep Permian, our experienced dentist, Dr. Robin Rutherford, works with a team of doctors specializing in sleep disorders to create customized treatment plans to help you sleep (and breathe) easier throughout the night.

Sleep Permian is locally owned and operated in Odessa, and its purpose is to help you find the relief you need to get a good night’s rest. Dr. Rutherford has advanced expertise in treating sleep apnea, and by working alongside a team of sleep disorder specialists, he is able to find the most effective treatment for each case.

Dr. Rutherford dedicates a great deal of his time to continuing education, completing more than 600 hours within just three years. In addition, he is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, which allows him to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in treating sleep disorders. Through Sleep Permian, he is able to to help patients in Odessa-Midland and the surrounding areas feel at ease and find the best solution to their sleep problems.

What Causes Snoring And Sleep Apnea?

While you sleep, the muscles and soft tissues in your throat, mouth, and/or nasal passages will relax, often causing your airway to become smaller. When this occurs, the velocity of airflow through breathing passages increases as you breathe, typically resulting in vibrations of the soft tissues and uvula against the back of the throat. The frequency at which these vibrations occur produces the snoring sound, so as the airway narrows, the vibrations increase and snoring becomes louder.



When snoring becomes severe, this is often a sign of Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS). UARS is when the airway narrows to the point where muscles in the chest and diaphragm have to work abnormally hard to pull air into the lungs. This condition is considered a point beyond snoring but before sleep apnea. If UARS is left untreated, it often progresses into obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Although not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, many suffer from the serious condition without realizing it. In addition to the disruptive sound of snoring, sleep apnea can also cause complete breathing pauses for up to ten seconds or more. The most frightening thing about sleep apnea is that most people are not aware they have it unless someone tells them. If someone has noticed that you have been snoring or gasping for air while you sleep, or if you are experiencing some of the symptoms listed below, it is important to be evaluated and have the condition addressed as soon as possible.

Potential Risks And Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea

In addition to snoring disrupting a good night’s sleep for you and your partner, sleep apnea may lead to more serious health conditions if left untreated, including:

  • Headaches
  • Teeth grinding
  • Exhaustion
  • Insomnia
  • Memory loss
  • Gastric reflux
  • Compromised immune system
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Sudden cardiac death

Determining if you have sleep apnea or another sleep breathing disorder can be achieved by consulting with a sleep disorder specialist at Sleep Permian. During your visit, you will be evaluated and a sleep study may be scheduled to determine the type and severity of the sleep disorder from which you are suffering. To get started, you can take our online sleep evaluation to learn whether you or a loved one may be living with sleep apnea.

Treatments For Sleep Apnea At Sleep Permian

Sleep Permian can help you with a variety of sleep disorders, including upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and central sleep apnea (CSA). Once you have been evaluated and diagnosed, there are multiple options available to you. Some of the most effective treatments for sleep disorders do not involve surgical intervention.


Oral Appliance Therapy

A customized oral appliance is worn while you sleep to keep your airways open, allowing a better flow of oxygen through breathing passages. This is typically one of the first methods of therapy for patients diagnosed with mild-to-moderate obstructive sleep apnea, or for those who cannot tolerate a continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) machine. Oral appliances may also be worn in addition to a CPAP to provide optimal treatment results.



Although surgery is not considered in the beginning stages of treatment for snoring or sleep apnea, it can be an effective solution for those who cannot tolerate a CPAP machine or oral appliance therapy. The most appropriate surgical technique will be determined by the surgeon after locating the obstruction in the upper airway or nasal passage. Surgical intervention is typically more effective for treating snoring than sleep apnea.


The CPAP is the most common form of treating severe obstructive sleep apnea. The device is worn at night and involves a face or nasal mask connected to a pump, which produces positive airflow pressure into the nasal passages to keep the airway open. Patients with mild-to-moderate sleep apnea can typically choose between wearing an oral appliance or CPAP based on which treatment they feel more comfortable with.


Other Therapy Attempts

Before seeking treatment for snoring and sleep apnea, many people may find lifestyle changes can improve their related health issues. For example, snoring can be improved in some individuals when they lose excess weight, limit smoking and alcohol, and avoid sedatives. Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea may also be worse when sleeping on your back, which can often be alleviated by sleeping on your side.


For a safer, healthier, and more restful night’s sleep, Sleep Permian can help you find the best treatment to reduce your snoring and other symptoms of sleep apnea.

Contact Sleep Permian

Please contact Sleep Permian today if you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea. We can provide you with more information, or help you schedule a consultation with Dr. Robin Rutherford to discuss evaluation and treatment options.

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