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Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

At Adams Dental Center in Lincoln, NE we want to help treat your sleep apnea. Your health starts with your sleep.  Studies have shown good sleep is necessary for overall health.  If you snore or are tired during the day, there is a good chance you could be suffering from sleep apnea.  The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) estimates that upward of 20 million Americans have Sleep Apnea, with over 85% of these being undiagnosed and untreated.  Sleep Apnea causes more serious health problems than just snoring.

Sleep apnea has serious health risks because adequate oxygen does not get into cells of the body during sleep.  Studies have shown that people who suffer from “obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)“ are at high risks for heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes and Type II diabetes.  In fact, a person who suffers from sleep apnea is twice as likely to suffer from a heart attack in comparison to a person who smokes.

Why do people snore?  Snoring occurs when there is a partial obstruction of the flow of air through the mouth or nose.  The sound occurs when the soft tissue in the throat vibrates as air passes over the tissue.  It is predicted that over 90% of people who snore will progress to sleep apnea if the snoring is not treated.

What is obstructive sleep apnea?  Apnea literally means “cessation of breathe”.  If you have sleep apnea, your breathing can become shallow or you may even stop breathing while asleep.  This can occur when the airway is blocked by the tongue dropping back and closing the airway.  In severe cases, this state of not breathing can occur up to hundreds of times a night.

Can an oral appliance help?  For patients who snore, or with mild to moderate sleep apnea; a dental device may be worn to hold the lower jaw forward during sleep.  By holding the jaw forward, the airway is kept open during sleep.  In 2006 the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) that first line of defense for patients who snore or with mild to moderate sleep apnea is an oral appliance.  Dr. Dodson may be able to help.  With a written request or letter of instruction from the medical doctor who diagnosed you with sleep apnea (from the polysomnogram test it takes to diagnose sleep apnea), Dr. Dodson will see if you are a candidate for oral appliance therapy for your sleep apnea.