Everyone seems to know someone who snores. Annoying? Yes. But few realize that this noisy issue may be life threatening as well. Snoring happens to be one of several risk factors for sleep apnea.
So what is it? Sleep apnea refers to the complete or partial stoppage of breathing while you sleep. When you aren't breathing you are depriving your body, and more importantly your brain of oxygen. As you can imagine oxygen is essential to life! Once thought of as a disease of older overweight men, we now understand that it affects both young and old, men and women, and large or skinny. It isn't commonly diagnosed or even looked for. Many doctors don't screen for it! It is estimated that there are approximately 36 million Americans who now live with this debilitating disease unknowingly and untreated. More thank likely someone you know is affected by it.
Some patients are surprised when their dentist suggests they may have sleep apnea. More and more, dentists are playing a key role in identifying those at risk and treating those who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. While CPAPs are a great way of getting patients the oxygen their bodies need, most people don't continuously use them. The most common reason for this is they can't tolerate it and get frustrated with it. An oral appliance can also help by opening the airway during sleep. Oral appliances often lead to better patient compliance as compared to using a CPAP machine.
Our team at Apple Tree Dental has been trained in the identification and treatment of sleep apnea by fabrication of an oral sleep appliance. Come in today to see if you could be enjoying better sleep and more energy! Mention this blog post and we will give you a complimentary screening, which includes a take home monitor to check oxygen levels throughout the night.