Sleep Apnea

Dentists Serving Patients in Sarasota, Venice, Bradenton & Nearby Areas of Florida

If you are one of the 12 million-plus Americans who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you may already be suffering from the very real symptoms related to this unfortunately common condition.

LVI dentist Dr. Richard Stanley and his team at The Smile Centre in Sarasota and Venice, Florida understand the ongoing struggle that patients with sleep apnea deal with as they attempt to cure the problem. That is why we are dedicated to helping you find a solution that works for you and your unique situation.

For detailed information about sleep apnea, check out our articles and streaming videos about sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Put in simple terms, sleep apnea is a medical condition that causes breathing to be interrupted during sleep. Typically, most people with sleep apnea are known for chronic, loud snoring and intermittent gasps for breath while asleep.

The sleep interruptions are caused by some sort of temporary blockage of the airway (show CT). This is usually the result of a collapse of the soft tissue at the back of the throat. The blockage and interruptions decrease the amount of oxygen that moves through the body to the lungs.

While factors such as being overweight, male and a smoker can put a person at a higher risk for sleep apnea, the condition can affect anyone, even the very young. In some cases, sleep apnea may be related to Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) problems and may appear in conjunction with other TMJ symptoms.

Problems Caused by Sleep Apnea

When left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a multitude of problems for patients, including:

  • Ongoing fatigue from lack of quality sleep
  • Problems with memory
  • Poor work performance and concentration difficulties. In children, this may be misdiagnosed as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD).
  • Chronic headaches
  • Mood swings and depression
  • Weight control issues
  • Increased risk of high blood pressure and stroke
  • Strained marital relations due to snoring

The Sleep Apnea – Dental Treatment Connection

While some sleep apnea treatment patients do well with the often-prescribed CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) or BiPAP (Bi-level Positive Air Pressure) machines, other patients continue to seek effective ways to treat the problem. For those patients, dental appliances, such as the SomnoMed® or the SilentNite® may offer immediate relief. The American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Dental Association together have concluded that the first line of treatment for a sleep apnea patient should be a dental sleep apnea appliance.

Dental appliances are flexible, custom-fitted mouthpieces. Usually made of silicone or acrylic, dental appliances are worn only at night and help to keep the airway at the back of your throat open while you sleep. Additionally, some CPAP users find that a dental appliance custom-fitted for use with their CPAP gives even better results.

For more questions about sleep apnea click here.

If you or someone you love suffers from sleep apnea and you would like to explore advanced dental treatment options, please contact our experienced LVI trained sleep apnea dentist serving the Venice and Sarasota, Florida area.