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Posts for tag: sleep apnea

April 26, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Find out how this simple oral device could help manage your sleep apnea symptoms.sleep apnea

Whether you’ve just been diagnosed with sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder, or you’ve had it for a while now there are many reasons to take the time to weigh your treatment options. While CPAP therapy tends to be the first course of action when it comes to treating sleep apnea it isn’t the only treatment. In fact, our New Hope, PA, dentist, Dr. Dawn Rickert, could even help you achieve better quality sleep.

What is sleep apnea?

When someone has sleep apnea this means that the airways become blocked throughout the course of the night, causing shallow breathing or pauses in breathing. As a result, the body and brain aren’t getting the sufficient amount of oxygen they need to function at their most optimal level.

Why should sleep apnea be treated?

Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that they have sleep apnea; however, if you find yourself having trouble getting out of bed every morning because you feel exhausted (even after a full night’s rest), then you might want to get evaluated by a medical professional.

Sure, we know that most people wake up feeling tired because they didn’t get quality sleep or enough sleep, but if you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night but still waking up extremely tired and feeling this way throughout the day then you need to see a sleep specialist as soon as possible.

Sleep apnea doesn’t just cause you to feel tired and drained all day (which is enough of a reason to seek treatment), it can also affect your mood, concentration, and work performance. Furthermore, untreated sleep apnea can also increase your chances for:

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Type II diabetes
  • Asthma

What is oral appliance therapy?

Our New Hope family dentist can treat mild or even moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea with this simple dental device. This oral appliance looks similar to a mouthguard; however, it’s specially designed to be able to keep airways open while you are sleep. It does that by repositioning the jaws in a forward position, which can prevent the tissues in the back of the throat from collapsing.

There are different kinds of oral appliances on the market, and we can help you choose the one that’s right for you based on your specific health concerns, needs, lifestyle, budget, etc.

New Hope Cosmetic & Family Dentistry is dedicated to providing the very best in dentistry to the New Hope, PA, area. From sleep apnea to dental veneers we handle it all so that you get the smile and care you want.


Jillian Michaels, personal trainer and star of television's The Biggest Loser isn't afraid of a tough situation — like a heart-pumping exercise routine that mixes kickboxing with a general cardio workout. But inside, she told an interviewer from Dear Doctor magazine, she's really a softie, with “a drive to be one of the good guys.” In her hit TV shows, she tries to help overweight people get back to a healthy body mass. And in doing so, she comes face-to-face with the difficult issue of sleep apnea.

“When I encounter sleep apnea it is obviously weight related. It's incredibly common and affects millions of people,” she says. Would it surprise you to know that it's a problem dentists encounter as well?

Sleep apnea is a type of sleep-related breathing disorder (SRBD) that's associated with being overweight, among other things. Chronic loud snoring is one symptom of this condition. A person with sleep apnea may wake 50 or more times per hour and have no memory of it. These awakenings last just long enough to allow an individual to breathe — but don't allow a deep and restful sleep. They may also lead to other serious problems, and even complications such as brain damage from lack of oxygen.

What's the dental connection? Sleep apnea can sometimes be effectively treated with an oral appliance that's available here at the dental office. The appliance, worn at night, repositions the jaw to reduce the possibility of the tongue obstructing the throat and closing the airway. If you are suffering from sleep apnea, an oral appliance may be recommended — it's a conservative treatment that's backed by substantial scientific evidence.

As Michaels says, “I tell people that [sleep apnea] is not a life sentence... It will get better with hard work and a clean diet.” So listen to the trainer! If you would like more information about sleep-related breathing disorders, please contact us for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sleep Disorders and Dentistry.”