Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Dental Sleep Medicine



Healthy teeth, healthy gums and healthy sleep!  Here at New Hope Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, we also practice dental sleep medicine, which is the segment of dentistry that focuses on managing snoring and sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy.  Dr. Dawn M. Rickert, is trained in dental sleep medicine and is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of  Sleep Medicine.

Snoring & Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Snoring Diagram Snoring is a sign of obstructive sleep apnea and could be a serious health risk.  Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing the soft tissue to collapse and block the airway.  As a result, sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing up to hundreds of times a night for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute.  If left untreated, sleep apnea could be a potentially life threatening condition.


Snoring & Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
  • Snoring
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Memory problems
  • Irritability or moodiness
  • Morning headaches
  • Acid reflux
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia

Who has Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a common problem and can affect any age and body type.  The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine reports that at least 25 million adults in the United States suffer from sleep apnea.  Although sleep apnea can occur at any age, the risk increases as you get older.  While the sleep disorder is more common in men, it can occur in women too, especially during and after menopause.

Risks for Sleep Apnea

  • Excess body weight
  • Narrow airway
  • Recessed chin
  • Misaligned jaw
  • Age

Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral appliance therapy is an effective, non-invasive treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea that fits easily into your lifestyle.  A dental oral appliance looks like a sports mouth guard and is worn only during sleep.  It supports the jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway, preventing snoring and sleep apnea.

Please know that although sleep apnea appliances resemble sports guards, they are highly sophisticated devices that require knowledge of jaw positioning and custom fit to work properly.  Off the shelf guards generally do not work and may be masking more serious health problems.

Once you have been diagnosed with snoring or obstructive sleep apnea by a sleep physician, we here at New Hope Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, can make a custom-fit oral appliance using impressions and models of your teeth.  Oral appliance therapy is covered by many medical insurance plans and patients like it because it's comfortable, easy to wear, and portable.

Potentially Save Your Life

Many people fondly remember Reggie White, football player and evangelical minister, who died in his sleep from sleep apnea.  Left untreated sleep apnea can lead to sudden death.


Call New Hope Cosmetic & Family Dentistry at (215) 862-2525 for a free consultation to discuss your treatment options!


Dr. Rickert is a Medicare DME provider.