- Snore or make noises when you sleep?
- Wake up tired or have unrefreshing sleep?
- Have daytime fatigue?
- Have trouble with sleep?
- Seem to be gaining weight?
- Toss and turn in bed?
- Have sleep apnea?
- Dislike using a C-Pap machine?
Sleep is the time when our body repairs itself. Sleep issues may cause fatigue and overall poor health.
Sleep disturbances such as sleep apnea or snoring can contribute to health issues or obstruct the healing process. It is essential to diagnose and treat the causes of this condition and make recuperative sleep and its oxygenation a necessary part of a good health regimen.
Sleep apnea, meaning "without breath," is a serious medical disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. While it is normal to stop breathing for a moment during sleep, with sleep apnea breathing stops for at least 10 seconds more often than it should, and the patient has no awareness that this has happened.
"Obstruction of the airway occurs when the base of the tongue presses against the soft palate as you sleep. Because air cannot enter the lungs, the blood oxygen level falls below normal. At this point your brain will tell you to wake up, which you will then do, with a loud snore. As soon as you wake up the muscle tone in the upper airway and the tongue returns to normal. You begin breathing as you usually do. This cycle repeats when you go back to sleep. In mild cases of sleep apnea, the cycle of apnea and normal breathing occurs only a few times during the night. In severe cases the cycle may repeat several hundred times. "1 Snoring and other sounds are common.
Sleep apnea must be diagnosed by a medical doctor. An evaluation to determine the cause of sleep apnea will help determine the course and outcome of treatment.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea and Other Sleep Issues
- An oral sleep appliance, or dental mouthpiece worn at night may help reverse the throat mechanism so the body can get enough oxygen when you sleep. Since there are many structural components to the problem there are different oral appliances.This may be most effective for mild to moderate sleep apnea but has been shown to be also effective for some advanced sleep apnea and the patient may be more compliant than with a CPAP mask.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has approved oral appliances that may help you.
- CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy is a mask worn while sleeping which forces breathing and oxygen if the person stops breathing. It is effective when used continuously but some find nightly use of CPAP difficult and a large percentage of patients discontinue use.
- Lifestyle changes such as weight loss for those that are overweight may improve sleep apnea. Cessation of smoking and alcohol, regular exercise, and treatment of allergies may improve mild sleep apnea.
Schedule a free, brief sleep consult with Dr. Lowell Weiner to see if an custom-made oral appliance could help you sleep more soundly.
Dr. Lowell Weiner DDS is an experienced biological dentist, in practice for over 40 years. He has taught courses in swallowing and sleep problems at the university level both nationally and internationally, and has done research and published in peer reviewed journals.
Dr. Weiner works with the physicians at NIHA to remedy sleep problems including sleep apnea.
Testimonial for a Sleep Problem using a Dental Appliance:
This patient was negative for sleep apnea on an overnight sleep test but "the very first night I wore the dental appliance I slept through the night...I have turned a corner with my illness."
1 Questions and Answers About Sleep Apnea, Sudhunsu Chokrovery MD, FRCP, FACP