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Sleep Apnea

Do you have trouble sleeping at night? Do you wake feeling tired and irratable? Do you often feel like you are just not functioning at your peak level? Have you been told that you snore a lot? Do you grind your teeth at night? If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, you may be suffering from Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea is a potentially dangerous disorder that can result in irratibility, confusion, memory problems, hypertension, and in some cases, even death.

Getting a good night's sleep is essential in maintaining a healthy body. It may be possible to 'run on empty' for a long time, but not without a cost. Sleep deprivation can result in slower reaction times, poor judgment, weaker immune functions, and even mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Dr. Ras is now a certified member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. As a dentist, Dr. Ras is often one of the first to recognize the signs and symptoms of Sleep Apnea. For example, enlarged tonsils (such as those seen in the picture above) are the most common cause of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in children. Who looks inside your child's mouth more often than the dentist?

OSA is characterized by recurrent episodes of upper airway collapse during sleep. This collapse causes an obstruction that partially or completely restricts airflow. Individual events can last for a few seconds or in some cases over a minute. People suffering from OSA often have hundreds of these episodes per night; a severe sufferer can have over a thousand. At our office, we now have the most up-to-date technology to recognize and identify patients who suffer from this dangerous disorder.

In the most severe cases, a CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) machine is recognized as the 'gold-standard' for treatment and would be treated at a sleep center. For mild to moderate cases, an oral appliance is the first line of treatment. This appliance can only be made through your dental office.

Because the dentist has access to your oral cavity at each visit, he is in the ideal postion to evaluate whether or not you may have Sleep Apnea. If you or anyone you know suffers from any of the above symptoms, please call our office today to set up a FREE consultation regarding this potentially dangerous disorder.


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