Sleep Apnea

Rest easy tonight

Many people think snoring or waking frequently during the night is not anything to worry about. However, these may be signs you have sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder. Dr. Jeremy Gordon is a dentist that can treat sleep apnea in the St. Augustine, Florida area.

What is sleep apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA is a sleep disorder that affects a person’s ability to breathe properly during sleep. The muscles in the throat relax and obstruct the airway. When this occurs the lack of oxygen signals the brain to wake up. This pattern can occur throughout the night, sometimes as often as 30 times an hour. Such interrupted sleep can lead to a variety of side effects. Additionally if left untreated OSA can be potentially fatal if the airway is blocked and the person does not wake up. It is important to seek medical help if you are experiencing episodes or your partner notices the symptoms.

According to ResMed:

  • 1 in 5 adults has mild OSA
  • 1 in 15 have moderate to severe OSA
  • 9% of middle-aged women and 25% of middle-aged men suffer from OSA
  • Prevalence similar to asthma (20 million) and diabetes (23.6 million) of US population
  • 75% of severe Sleep Disordered Breathing cases remain undiagnosed

What are the risk factors for sleep apnea?

Things that put you at greater risk for sleep apnea include:

  • Being overweight
  • Being male
  • Use of alcohol or sedatives
  • Smoking
  • Family history of OSA
  • Large neck
  • Hypertension
  • Other systemic diseases

What are the signs of sleep apnea?

If you are your partner notice the following, you may have sleep apnea and should talk to your doctor:

  • Tiredness during the day
  • Headaches
  • Getting up frequently throughout the night
  • Feelings of depression
  • Snoring during sleep
  • Irregular breathing during sleep
  • Daytime fatigue

Dr. Jeremy Gordon and his team at Gordon Dental Associates can help you get a better night’s sleep if you suffer from OSA.

What can be done?

If you suffer from OSA, one of the most effective types of treatment is an oral appliance called a mandibular repositioning device or MRD. An MRD is a simple oral appliance that you wear during sleep that repositions the lower jaw in order to keep the airway open during sleep. MRDs are usually prescribed to patients with mild to moderate OSA. If you have severe OSA it may be paired with a CPAP machine. Dr. Gordon can create an MRD that can significantly increase your quality of sleep and your quality of life.

OSA has been linked to hypertension, obesity and diabetes. It also increases your risk of stroke and being in a traffic accident if you fall asleep at the wheel. Don’t go another night sleep deprived. Come see Dr. Jeremy Gordon and see if an oral appliance is right for you. Oral appliances to treat sleep apnea are largely covered by medical insurance as well.

If you suffer from any of the signs and symptoms of OSA, please don’t hesitate to give your St. Augustine dentist, Dr. Gordon at Gordon Dental Associates a call and schedule a consultation at: (904) 460-0999.