I’m Dr. James Stewart. Welcome to my blog. How was your sleep last night? I hope you slept soundly. But if not, do you feel tired, forgetful, or irritable today? Do you feel unrested, even though you were in bed for 8 hours? As a sleep disorder dentist, I see many patients who report these symptoms, and oftentimes, the problem stems from obstructive sleep apnea.
Take this quiz to help determine if you might have a sleep disorder…
Do you snore?
Do you awake suddenly, choking or gasping?
Do you feel lethargic, forgetful, or irritated a lot of the time?
Do you almost fall asleep during the day when you’re driving, watching TV, or sitting quietly without much stimulation?
Does your sleeping partner tell you that you stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer during sleep?
These are just a few common problems associated with sleep disorders. What many people don’t know is that a dentist might be able to help. I’ve studied sleep disorders, and I provide non-invasive appliance therapy for patients who suffer from snoring and/or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
You see, when the lower jaw muscles relax during sleep, the jaw can move slightly backward. This allows soft tissues in the mouth and throat to block airflow. Snoring is the sound of soft tissues vibrating as air moves in and out of the oral cavity. When the soft tissues completely block airflow for periods of ten seconds or longer, repeatedly during sleep, a patient may have obstructive sleep apnea. Keep in mind, you can snore and not have OSA, but snoring is common in OSA patients.
When you can’t breathe during sleep, the brain tells your body to wake up. Because OSA patients endure this cycle again and again each night, they never reach the deep, necessary REM sleep that refreshes the body. Thus, they feel tired, irritable, forgetful, and they can fall asleep at inappropriate times during the day.
As a sleep disorder dentist, I provide custom oral appliances that hold the jaw in proper position all night long. These appliances, like the Somnomed or Silent Nite, prevent soft tissues from obstructing airflow, so patients can achieve REM sleep and feel refreshed upon waking.
In addition to making you feel bad, obstructive sleep apnea contributes to increased risk for heart attack. To take care of your health and your quality of life, give me a call. My Livonia dental office is conveniently located for patients near Farmington, and I care for people of all ages. Schedule your sleep consultation today by calling my office at 734.425.4400. A good night’s sleep is just another reason to make you smile.