Sleep Apnea and Snoring Treatment in Ocala, FL

Recent years have provided the field of dentistry with the knowledge and technology to treat obstructive sleep apnea.  Weldon General & Cosmetic dentistry is proud to offer the residents of Ocala and surrounding areas with sleep apnea and snoring treatment.  Below we have included some detailed information regarding sleep apnea.  If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us any time and we are happy to schedule a consultation.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is an extremely common breathing disorder.  The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that 22 million Americans suffer from this disease.  Apnea in Greek means “without breath”.  Essentially sleep apnea is characterized by cessations in breathing during sleep.  There are three types of sleep apnea.  Obstructive sleep apnea is by far the most prevalent form.  Fortunately obstructive sleep apnea is treatable and new advances especially in the dental field have made it much more comfortable to treat.

Who is at Risk?

Obstructive sleep apnea can be found in any segment of the population.  Anatomical variations such as a narrowed throat form or enlarged tonsils can cause this.  That said, the people that are most at risk are overweight males that are over 40.  The enlarged neck can also contribute to this problem significantly.

How Would I Know if I Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

There are several signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea.  Often it is found that a bed partner can offer important information regarding the symptoms.  Here are a few symptoms:

  • Chronic morning and daytime fatigue that is caused by the lack of sleep
  • Snoring is another symptom of sleep apnea.  This is caused by the air squeezing past the partial blockage and creating the snoring sound.  This is common in those that are overweight but can happen to anyone.
  • Morning headaches, awakening with a dry mouth, or a sore throat can also be signs of sleep apnea.
  • Loud snoring as well as audible breaks between breathing during sleep
  • Abrupt awakenings that occur along with a feeling of being out of breath
  • High blood pressure
  • Mood changes, irritability, and difficulty concentrating during the day

What are some Dangers Caused by Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea has been shown to contribute to major systemic issues.  An increase in the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes can all be attributed to sleep apnea.  It can also lead to irregular heartbeats.  High blood pressure is prevalent in patients who suffer from sleep apnea.  Due to the lack of proper inbound breaths, the body does not receive an adequate amount of oxygen.  As a result the heart has to work extra hard to make up for this.  Obstructive sleep apnea truly can be a silent killer.  Recent research at Harvard Medical School has determined that men with severe obstructive sleep apnea were 3 times as likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease than those who had severe sleep apnea that were receiving treatment.  Finally, the fatigue caused during the day can increase the risk of work-related or driving accidents.

How Can Your Dentist Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Traditionally the CPAP has been the treatment of choice for obstructive sleep apnea.  The CPAP essentially forces air into the airway to allow for delivery of adequate oxygen.  The major problem that causes patient dissatisfaction with the CPAP is that it is uncomfortable.  This has lead to patients not using the device and as a result continuing to be in danger for the problems that sleep apnea brings.  At Weldon General & Cosmetic Dentistry, we utilize the oral device that will gently open the airway so adequate intake can be realized.  SomnoDent® is one of the custom appliances we offer.  There have been 14 independent studies over 12 years of research that have demonstrated the efficacy and significant clinical benefits of SomnoDent.

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