Gentry Dental
A Great Dentist

Why is my dentist talking to me about sleep apnea?

The American Dental Association now recommends that dentists screen all of our patients for sleep apnea or sleep disordered breathing. There are approximately 200,000 dentists in the USA, and only 7500 sleep physicians, so we are being asked to "fill the gap" and get patients tested and treated for this deadly disease. 

Sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, have become a significant health issue in the USA. It has been estimated that 22-30 million Americans are suffering from sleep apnea, with 80% of the cases of moderate and severe obstructive apnea undiagnosed and untreated. 

Why is this so important? When sleep apnea is untreated, your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, atrial fibrillation, stroke, diabetes, anxiety and depression, erectile dysfunction, hypothyroidism, and many other diseases increases dramatically. It has a whole body effect, decreasing your quality of life while also cutting your lifespan by as much as 7-10 years! 

Some signs we look for:

What medications you are on? High blood pressure, high cholesterol, baby aspirin, diabetes type II medications, and acid reflux medications are some clues that you could have an airway problem like sleep apnea, because sleep apnea can be a precursor to the problems your medications are treating.

Do you feel tired or drained during the day? Do you need a pick me up in the afternoon- caffeine or a nap? 

Has anyone ever told you that you snore? Has your partner ever nudged you or elbowed you in the night? 

Do you have night sweats, or wake up with your heart racing? Do you have anxiety or a feeling of dread, especially first thing in the morning? 

Have you gained weight recently that you've found hard to lose? 

All these can be indicators of an underlying problem, and we are now able to conveniently send you home with a home sleep test machine and get your results back within a few days! If your results show you do have a sleep breathing disorder, we are able to make an oral appliance that gently moves your lower jaw forward slightly to help open your airway while you sleep. A bulky CPAP is no longer your only option! Many patients find that once they start wearing an oral appliance while they sleep, their energy levels and mood improve remarkably and they are able to lose weight that had been stubborn in the past. 

You are now able to schedule an appointment for a sleep consult online! Pick a convenient time for yourself, or call or email us for more information! 

 

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