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 sixty 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 8-hour time span! As a San Diego family dentist, we are dedicated to helping you avoid the perils that come with sleep apnea.
While you may not be aware of it, breathing cessation will wake you up suddenly with a gasp for air as your body responds to a lack of oxygen – it is heralded by heavy (and sometimes very loud!) snoring. When this happens several times a night, getting a restful, restorative sleep is impossible for you and your partner. You’re nowhere near being prepared for the day ahead.
If you’re thinking it’s just a bit of snoring, you need to know these facts:
- 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? Here’s a checklist that will help you determine if you should be checked for sleep apnea.
Do you experience…
- disturbed sleep
- morning headaches
- waking with a sore or dry throat
- 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, we want you to know about another choice – a custom-fitted dental appliance.
Sleep apnea is probably not something you’d think to go to your dentist about – let alone search online for a San Diego family dentist who can help treat it. But if you have, we’re glad you found us, because at Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists, we’re trained in the science of treating sleep apnea with a small comfortable custom-fitted dental appliance that you wear at night.
A custom-fitted dental appliance to prevent episodes of sleep apnea is…
- convenient – after your diagnosis at a sleep clinic, we fabricate it for you and ensure its adjusted perfectly to your mouth and jaw
- comfortable – small, light, and 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. Amodeo and Dr. Lam, your San Diego family dentists