Sleep apnea is a disorder that results in the momentary cessation of breathing throughout the night. These involuntary pauses in breathing might seem like a small thing, but for some people, they occur up to 60 or more times per hour for a duration of up to 30 seconds each time… That’s almost four hours of no breathing in an eight-hour time span!
When this happens, breathing cessation can end by a gasp for air, and while you may not be aware of it, it will awaken you and make getting a restful, restorative sleep impossible. You’re nowhere near being prepared for the day ahead.
If you’re thinking it’s just a bit of snoring, here are four facts you need to know courtesy of your Hatfield dentist:
- Sleep apnea contributes to an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, weight gain, memory problems, or premature death.
- The Centers For Disease Control reports that up to 6,000 fatal crashes a year are caused by drowsy driving.
- Risk factors include obesity, age, menopause, craniofacial abnormalities, smoking, alcohol use, and family history.
- Often a sleep partner identifies sleep apnea in a loved one, but what if you live alone? In addition to the risk factors listed above, here’s a checklist that will help you determine if you should be checked for sleep apnea.
Do you experience…
- disturbed sleep
- loud snoring
- cessation of breathing while sleeping
- difficulty concentrating
- depression or irritability
- learning and memory difficulties
- sleepiness while at work, on the phone, or while driving.
If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, a sleep study can be prescribed by your primary care physician. If you are diagnosed, you may be prescribed a CPAP machine – you’ve likely seen photos of its mask and air hose. But some people simply can’t tolerate it. Because of that, I’d like to tell you about another option – a custom-fitted dental appliance.
Sleep apnea is probably not something you’d think to go to your dentist about – let alone search Google for a sleep apnea “dentist near me” to find a care provider. But if you have, we’re glad you found us, because at Dental Excellence of Hatfield, we’re specially trained in the science of sleep medicine and we’ve helped hundreds of patients with a small comfortable dental appliance that is worn at night.
A custom-fitted dental appliance to prevent sleep apnea is…
- convenient – after your diagnosis, we fabricate it for you and ensure it’s adjusted perfectly to your mouth and jaw
- comfortable – small, light & unobtrusive … so you’ll actually wear it!
- portable – fits in your pocket
- silent – no humming machine or blowing air
- non-surgical – there’s no downtime.
Not everyone is a candidate for the sleep apnea appliance, but most are. Give us a call and let’s investigate. We’ll work with you and your healthcare team to keep you happy and healthy – and sleeping soundly through the night.
Yours in dental – and overall – health,
Dr. Jessica Scordamaglia, DMD, your Hatfield Dentist
A unique, caring practice that really does focus on more than numbers