What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea is a disorder in which disrupts a multitude of individuals today. Those suffering from Sleep Apnea have soft tissues in their throat that narrow or close completely while sleeping. This results in difficulties in breathing, furthermore resulting to lighter sleep than normal individuals. While individuals with sleep apnea still may get 6-8 hours of sleep at night, their kind of sleep is clouded by the fact that they never fully submerge themselves into deep sleep that is needed to be considered well rested.
Perhaps one of the main indicators of an individual with sleep apnea is excessive snoring. Snoring is caused by those soft tissues of the throat vibrating as the air passes through a narrowed passage. While snoring is not limited to just those who have sleep apnea, it has been said that snoring does eventually lead to sleep apnea.
What does Sleep Apnea have to do with Dentistry?
At Sheets Family Dentistry, we care about more than just your teeth, we care about YOU! If left untreated, sleep apnea may lead to an increased chance of stroke and heart attack. Aside from that, sleep apnea can result in other health detriments such as weight gain, fatigue, and an obvious increased chance of motor vehicle accidents. If you have a child diagnosed with ADHD, sleep apnea is often related, however undiagnosed.
As far as your oral health concerns, sleep apnea is closely related to actions such as clenching and grinding of the teeth. The clenching and grinding have proven to cause severe damage to the teeth, dental fillings and crowns, or result ultimately in TMJ problems and headaches.
What can I do if I think I or my family member have Sleep Apnea?
With any type of medical concern, the first step to a recovery is a consultation with your dentist. At Dr. Sheets office, we work with the best sleep doctors and sleep labs in the area. We will refer you to meet with a sleep doctor, and then an overall consensus will determine if a sleep study is necessary for you.
If you have already undergone a sleep study, and have been told that you do indeed have sleep apnea, we will work with you to figure out the most effective treatment option to pursue. We provide oral appliance therapy for Sleep Apnea patients, which ultimately consists of wearing a small mouth guard while you sleep. Though it sounds a little uncomfortable, most patients find it easy and effective to use, and oral appliance therapy is covered by most Medical insurances!
Dr. Sheets has completed her certification in Sleep Dentistry and is eager to help you with your Sleep Apnea problems! If you have any questions or concerns about Sleep Dentistry, schedule an appointment with Dr. Sheets today by calling (310) 832-2657.
Dr. Susan Sheets proudly accepts patients from San Pedro, Rancho Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Estates, Harbor City, Wilmington, Long Beach, and surrounding areas.