Getting the Care That’s Right for You
According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Sadly, most of the people who have it don’t realize they’re living with a serious medical condition.
In fact, sleep apnea is one of the most commonly undiagnosed medical conditions in the world. This is a significant problem because untreated sleep apnea plays a role in a number of dangerous medical conditions, including strokes, heart attacks, and obesity.
Medical schools are paying more attention to sleep apnea than they used to, but many doctors have limited knowledge about the condition. Dentists play a significant role in detecting sleep apnea symptoms and making sure their patients receive the appropriate treatment for it.
Dentists and Sleep Apnea
Although many patients don’t automatically associate their dentist with sleep apnea, dentists “have a significant role in the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.” Dentists are commonly the first medical practitioners to discover signs of sleep apnea in their patients. This makes sense because dentists are experts on the region of the body where sleep apnea occurs.
There are telltale signs of sleep apnea that dentists frequently notice during a patient’s regular checkup even when the patient has no idea they’re suffering from the disorder. The shape of the patient’s jaws and the condition and arrangement of their teeth often provide important clues.
For example, worn down teeth, cracked teeth, and swollen or receding gums are common symptoms of bruxism, nighttime teeth grinding which often occurs in conjunction with sleep apnea.
Getting You the Appropriate Care
If Dr. Katz notices signs of sleep apnea during an examination, he’ll ask you a series of related questions about your health, the quality of sleep you’ve been getting, and how you’re feeling throughout the day.
The next step will be for the patient to take a sleep study. This is a simple process that can either be conducted in a sleep center or the privacy and comfort of your home. A sleep physician will review the results of the sleep study and prescribe the appropriate course of treatment.
Your Sleep Dentist in Greensboro
If you’re a heavy snorer and you often feel tired or sleepy during the day, you could be suffering from sleep apnea. Call Dr. Katz today at 336-346-8988 and we’ll make sure you get the appropriate care.
Dr. Mark Katz is a highly qualified sleep dentist with extensive experience and training in the field. We feature convenient alternatives to CPAP for treating both snoring and sleep apnea.