Does your spouse complain of your loud snoring? Can your kids down the hall hear you snore? This may not be simple, occasional snoring from dry mouth or a cold. It could be sleep apnea, a potentially harmful oral health condition that creates havoc with systemic health.
Dr. Donald M. Marks offers sleep apnea treatment in his State College Dental office, giving patients the rest, happy relationships and good health they need.
The reasons behind sleep apnea
Besides loud snoring, the signs of sleep apnea include:
- Startling awake
- Gasping for breath
- Breathing cessation multiple times per night for 10 seconds or more
- Daytime sleepiness
Typically, the tissue at the back of the patient’s throat relaxes and collapses over the airway during sleep. When the airway is blocked, snoring and oxygen deprivation result. The patient eventually exhibits symptoms of:
- Concentration and memory issues
- High blood pressure
- Type-2 diabetes
- Morning headaches
Yes, there seems to be a direct link between sleep apnea and very serious systemic health conditions. So, this sleep disorder requires attention from the primary care physician and even evaluation by a sleep physician.
Who has sleep apnea?
The most common kind of sleep apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA. OSA is truly a mechanical issue as the soft palate closes off the airway. Central Sleep Apnea, or CSA, happens when the brain neglects to tell the respiratory system to breathe. CSA is a more worrisome and difficult problem to treat.
People over the age of 50 seem prone to sleep apnea. Also, males with a collar size bigger than 17 inches suffer from it, as do very overweight individuals, smokers and people who abuse alcohol. The American Sleep Apnea Association states that about 18 million Americans have sleep apnea to one degree or other.
Tools for diagnosis of State College sleep apnea
A member of American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Dr. Marks takes a special interest in helping sleep apnea patients. His practice includes oral appliance therapy and oral appliances combined with CPAP machines to keep airways open and the effects of sleep apnea diminished.
Dr. Marks offers his patients 2 simple questionnaires to help them understand their snoring and if they need help from a sleep physician. He also works closely with referring physicians who have diagnosed sleep apnea in individuals undergoing monitored sleep studies and who may benefit from customized sleep apnea treatment from State College Dental Sleep Medicine.
Oral appliance therapy
Depending on patient need, Dr. Marks offers several oral appliances which effectively deal with sleep apnea. They include Somnodent, OASYS, Nawal and other superior devices that hold the jaw forward so the airway opens. Sometimes used with CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines, oral appliances are a comfortable and reliable way to deal with this sleep disorder and its associated effects.
Someone important says you snore
If someone you love complains you snore loudly all the time, don’t ignore it.
Contact State College Dental Sleep Medicine for a personal consultation. Dr. Marks wants all his patients to have great oral health, a good night’s sleep and good systemic well-being, too.