Sleep Apnea

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is when the soft tissues of the throat narrow or close completely while sleeping. This results in making it difficult to breath, which results in the brain "waking you up" in to lighter sleep. People with sleep apnea may get 6-8 hours of sleep per night, but they rarely feel fully rested, sine they aren't getting the deep sleep that their body needs. Snoring is the sound made by the soft tissues of the throat vibrating as the air passes through a narrowed passage. Snoring is a sign of sleep apnea and it has been said that everyone who snores will eventually have sleep apnea. Snoring also disturbs the sleep of the bed partner, which may actually result in the bed partner not feeling fully rested as well.

 

What does Sleep Apnea have to do with Dentistry?

At Dr. Sheets office we care about more than just your teeth...We care about YOU! Untreated Sleep Apnea can lead to increased chance of stroke and heart attack. It can lead to wight gain, fatigue, and increased chance of moter vehicle accidents. It can lead to poor work performance, poor memory, and a host of other problems. In children, ADHD is often related to undiagnosed Sleep Apnea. So is bed wetting. In adults it's possible that heart burn (Gastric Reflux or "GERD") and even depression are sometimes misdiagnosed when the person really has Sleep Apnea!

 

Clenching and grinding of the teeth, or "bruxism," may also be connected to Sleep Apnea. We believe that many people will clench or grind their teeth while sleeping in order to try to protect their airway, so they can breathe! This clenching and grinding may cause severe damage to the teeth, dental fillings and crowns, or result in TMJ problems and headaches. This clenching and grinding occurs in adults and children and is NOT normal.

 

What can I do if I think I or my family member may have Sleep Apnea?

The first step is an accurate diagnosis. At Dr. Sheets we work with the best sleep doctors and sleep labs in the area. Diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea is a team approach between us dentists and our medical colleagues. We will refer you to meet with a sleep doctor to determine if a "sleep study" is right for you.

 

If you've already had a sleep study, and know you have sleep apnea, there are several treatment options available. We provide "oral appliance therapy" for Sleep Apnea, which consists of wearing a small mouth guard while you sleep. Most patients find it easy to use and comfortable AND oral appliance therapy is covered by most Medical Insurances!

 

If you are Tired of Being Tired, talk to us today about Sleep Apnea, and get on the road to a Great Night's Sleep!

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Sleep Apnea
Mouth Guards

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