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Definition of Sleep Apnea

questionaire_imgSleep Apnea is a serious medical condition in which your breathing ceases periodically during sleep, as many as 20-30 times per hour. Your brain is immediately alerted by the lack of oxygen each time you stop breathing, which causes you to wake up just long enough to restart breathing. People with Sleep Apnea may believe they are getting a good night’s sleep, when in actuality, though they may not remember, they’ve stopped breathing many times throughout the night. This repetitive wake-sleep cycle prevents those with Sleep Apnea from ever achieving deep sleep (a.k.a. REM Sleep), which is why many Sleep Apnea sufferers report feeling drowsy during the day.

The following symptoms can indicate the presence of Sleep Apnea. If you notice one or more of these, contact our practice immediately at (732) 967-2214.

  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
  • Waking up at night short of breath
  • Loud snoring at night
  • Snorting, choking, or gasping for air during the night
  • Headaches upon waking up in the morning
  • Falling asleep unintentionally during the day
  • Extreme drowsiness during the day
  • Weight gain

Different Types of Sleep Apnea

Of the three Sleep Apnea categories, the most common is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA occurs due to a physical blockage, usually the collapsing of the soft tissue in the back of the throat. Less common is Central Sleep Apnea (CSA), which means breathing halts because the muscles involved don’t receive the proper signal from the brain. There is also a complex version of Sleep Apnea, which is a combination of both obstructive and central.

Is Sleep Apnea Dangerous?

If Sleep Apnea is left untreated it can lead to: high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, irregular heartbeats, heart attacks, Diabetes, Depression, weight gain, and headaches. The ongoing state of fatigue caused by Sleep Apnea ultimately results in a lower quality of life by causing problems during daily tasks and can absolutely be a danger while driving or operating heavy machinery.

“I have been going to Dr Griggs for 23 years. Every visit has been nothing but a positive one. The last one was life changing for me. I had a 3D X-ray in addition to my 6 month cleaning and check up. Dr. Lee came in to discuss the X-ray with me and told me that I had a narrow airway and after asking me about my sleep patterns advised that I do a sleep study. I followed up with my primary physician who sent me for a sleep study. Well, it turns out I have moderate/severe sleep apnea and stop breathing 24 times an hour. I now sleep with a CPAP machine and I feel so much better. I wake up well rested and without a headache and am no longer tired during the day. If left untreated I understand that my heart and lungs and overall health could be in jeopardy. Thank you Dr. Lee for making me aware of the dangers of sleep apnea.” – Leslie T.

How Can Old Bridge Dental Guide You on the Right Path?

While we can’t diagnose Sleep Apnea, we can still play a major role in identifying the issue. By teaming together medical and dental professionals, personalized treatment plans can be developed to ensure a safer and all around better quality of life.

If after an airway evaluation at our practice and use of the 3D scan technology to evaluate the airway we feel you could potentially be suffering from Sleep Apnea, we would then make a referral to a local medical professional.  The specialist can then prescribe an at-home sleep study, for your comfort, and make an official diagnosis.

After the official diagnosis has been made the level of severity will determine whether the oral appliance, OPTISLEEP, is an option for you.

OPTISLEEP is a custom, more conservative treatment that may be worth a try for some patients; especially, those who find themselves non-compliant with the gold standard CPAP machine. The device is custom designed to each patient to advance his or her lower jaw forward and open the airway.

Ready to Get Started?

Feeling drowsy and not rested during the day? Call us at (732) 967-2214 for your free consultation and start on the path to a better night’s sleep.

Sleep Apnea Treatment Old Bridge Dental | (732) 967-2214