September 1, 2015
Snoring is one of the most obvious signs that a patient suffers from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). While OSA isn’t contagious, the other adverse side effects like fatigue, headaches, and memory loss or confusion are easily transferred to the loved ones kept up all night by loud snoring. Many patients believe that the use of a constant positive airway pressure (CPAP) system is the only way to regain their peaceful sleep, but actually, an unobtrusive, comfortable dental appliance may provide the relief patients with OSA desire. Call Dr. Scott Wagner and his Jacksonville Beach, FL team to schedule a sleep apnea consultation, and find out more about how a mouthguard could help you stop snoring and sleep through the night.
February 22, 2015
To have a good day, you must first have a good night. For many people, however, a good night is but a dream. If you or the person one pillow over snores, then you know what we’re referring to here. Night after night of interrupted sleep makes for exhaustion during the day. But that’s not all. Snoring may be a sign of a serious condition called sleep apnea. For sleep apnea and snoring treatment that results in peaceful nights and productive days, patients in the Jacksonville, FL, area turn to Dr. Scott Wagner at Eccella Smiles.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that actually results in the cessation of breathing. The most common form is obstructive sleep apnea. In this case, the airway becomes blocked when soft tissue—like your tongue—relax during sleep and fall back, thereby interfering with breathing. A person with sleep apnea may not even realize what’s happening, but the brain does and signals the body to wake up in order to restart breathing. Believe it or not, this may happen more than 100 times during the night. That adds up to a lot of missed sleep. No wonder people with sleep apnea are tired during the day! Sleep apnea sufferers may also experience morning headaches, dry mouth or sore throat; difficulty concentrating; memory problems and a lack of coordination.
Solving Sleep Apnea
Fortunately, treating sleep apnea does not necessarily require surgery or a bulky CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. The solution might be a thin, flexible mouthguard that Dr. Wagner prescribes to hold your jaw forward while you sleep, so your airway remains open. This oral appliance has worked for many patients who snore and/or have sleep apnea and may be an alternative for patients who have tried a CPAP and found it intolerable.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you suspect that you or the person next to you who snores may have sleep apnea, then call Eccella Smiles. We will be happy to evaluate you. Located in Jacksonville Beach, FL, patients visit our office from across the nation, as well as from the surrounding areas of Ponte Vedra, Jacksonville, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach and St. Augustine.
June 15, 2012
Snoring and sleep apnea don’t always go hand-in-hand, but one is often an indication of the other. This is all because of what sleep apnea is and how it affects the body.
If you’re not familiar with it already, sleep apnea is a serious condition that keeps patients from getting enough oxygen while they sleep. In fact, a sleep apnea patient will actually stop breathing for 10, 20, 30 or more seconds. That doesn’t sound bad, except when you add that they can do this sometimes hundreds of times per night. As a result, they might spend the entire night cycling through patterns of sleeping and waking, sometimes without even knowing it. I always say, “We need 3 things to live.” 1) Food: However, Ghandi and others throughout our history have shown, we can go a weeks without food. 2) Water: we can actually go several days without it (if we had to). 3) Air: How long can you hold your breath? Obviously, we can literally live only a couple minutes without air.
TEST YOURSELF: Get a stopwatch out. Exhale normally, but DO NOT INHALE. Start the timer. Hold your breath for 30 seconds. See how long you can go. How do you feel after 10 seconds? 20 seconds? Can you make it to 30 seconds? Imagine repeating that cycle over and over during the night. Do you think your body would feel “rested” in the AM? Physiologically, sleep apnea can dramatically change your body for the worse very quickly. To give you an example, smoking and alcohol increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, strokes, etc. by a factor ranging from 7 to 11 (depending on which study you read). However, moderate to severe sleep apnea can increase your risks of the same by a factor of 34! Even mild apnea can raise your blood pressure, trigger diabetes, make it difficult to lose weight, and give you a feeling of chronic fatigue! This is serious stuff!
So how can you know if you have sleep apnea?
Snoring is a common indicator, while other symptoms include daytime drowsiness, depression, irritability, fatigue, and short-term memory loss. If you’ve noticed that you suffer from any of these, consider scheduling an appointment with our Jacksonville Beach dental office. Sleep apnea may be a serious condition, but it can often be treated conservatively with a custom-made oral appliance. Men & women with weight issues are immediately at risk for apnea. Men with a 16.5” neck size or greater are automatically defined as being at risk. However, as a dentist, some of my clients that have the worst level of apnea are very skinny. So, while being overweight is a risk factor, it is not automatically diagnostic. There is a test called the “Epworth Sleepiness Scale” that can easily be found online. It is a simple test that can give you an idea of whether you are at risk. The only way to truly diagnose sleep apnea is to have a physician prescribed test. If we suspect that you have sleep apnea, we refer you immediately to your physician. If your M.D. is not comfortable referring you for a sleep study, we have several sleep centers and physicians that we work in conjunction with to help you get diagnosed quickly. Ultimately, achieving high quality sleep is paramount to your health.
Treating Sleep Apnea and Snoring with an Oral Appliance
Sleep apnea has many degrees of severity and an often time requires the use of a CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) appliance. Other times, when apnea is milder, it can be treated with an oral appliance (a type of simple mouth guard). Regardless of the degree of apnea, diagnosis is key. Sleep apnea and snoring are often caused by an obstructed airway. An oral appliance works by holding your jaw forward during sleep, ensuring that those airways remain open all night long. That means that instead of waking up constantly during the night, or keeping your partner awake with your snoring, you can both get the full night of rest you deserve. We are a sleep deprived country. The quantity of your sleep is often times over-rated. The most important factor is the QUALITY of your sleep. If you had 10 hours of poor quality sleep versus 5 hours of high quality sleep, I’ll take the latter any day or night!
If you think you might have sleep apnea but haven’t been diagnosed yet, call us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wagner. You can also visit our sleep apnea and snoring page to learn more about this condition and take a standardized sleep apnea test.