Do you fall asleep during the day? Have you been told that you snore?
Do you wake up gasping for air in the middle of the night?
Are you married to someone who keeps you up all night because of snoring?
Do you and your partner sleep in separate rooms because of snoring or a CPAP?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may suffer from or be married to someone who has Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea is a condition in which a person stops breathing many times throughout the night, sometimes for dangerously long periods of time. It is estimated that up to 10% of middle-aged men and women may suffer from sleep apnea. Untreated sleep apnea is a serious life threatening medical condition. The prolonged shortage of oxygen to your body affects every major body system and if left untreated is estimated to take an average of 8 years off of a person's life.
How Dangerous is Sleep Apnea?
High blood pressure- did you know that 90% of people with high blood pressure suffer from sleep apnea? In addition, up to 60% of sleep apnea sufferers develop high blood pressure.
- Heart Attack
- Sudden Death
- Memory Loss
- Decreased Libido
- Fatigue and sleepiness that lasts all day
- Panic Attacks
- Premature Aging
All of the above can be caused by obstructive sleep apnea. It is now recognized as a serious condition that damages your health and robs you of years of life. In conjunction with a sleep study, Dr. Esler can help to diagnose and treat obstructive sleep apnea. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the National Institutes of Health now designate dental appliance therapy as a first line treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnea. Dental sleep medicine can effectively treat sleep apnea and snoring using oral appliance therapy. If you have any of the following symptoms, a consult with Dr. Esler may be recommended.
- Snoring- loud, snorting, gasping snores
- Extended pauses in breathing during the night
- Daytime sleepiness and fatigue
- Changes in personality
- Memory Loss
- Obesity- sleep apnea is thought to contribute to abdominal fat deposits and increased cortisol levels
- GERD- acid reflux disease
What is this Oral Appliance?
Oral appliances for sleep apnea are somewhat similar to a night guard or "bite guard". They are worn during the night and their primary function is to maintain the airway opening. Unlike the CPAP, these appliances are comfortable, silent, and easy to use and travel with.
What takes place during a consult for Sleep Apnea?
The screening process in our office will usually consist of:
- Complete medical/dental history
- Intraoral exam and evaluation of the head, neck, teeth, and supporting structures
- Dental Impressions
- Evaluation of occlusion and TMJ
- Administration of the Epworth Sleepiness Scale-a screening tool
For the dental solution to sleep apnea, Dr. Esler will, in conjunction with a sleep study, use a advanced technology to determine the best position for your jaw to maintain an open airway..
What are the advantages of an oral appliance?
- Cost effective
- Excellent patient acceptance and compliance
- Reversible therapy (non-surgical)
If you feel you or someone you love may suffer from sleep apnea, or you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, please contact Dr. Esler for a screening consultation.