See How Our Treatment Can Help You Sleep Better
Sleep apnea is a condition which most patients don’t know about. It is more prevalent than COVID-19, but most patients are not educated about what sleep apnea is. So, I’m gonna try and describe sleep apnea in very simplistic terms. Sleep apnea is a condition that when you sleep, you stop breathing, and you’re classified depending on the number of times that you stop breathing.
Now, when you stop breathing, the way your body wakes you up is by gastric reflux, where there’s acids, you know, reflux, and by grinding your teeth. If you did not have those two reflux mechanisms, you may not get up from your sleep. And it’s a major health concern. You know, our practice really addresses patients who need comprehensive full mouth care.
And, patients used to come and see me, and their teeth were worn down and there was acid erosion of their teeth. And when I was at dental school, you know, our instructors used to tell us, “Oh, the patient’s just grinding their teeth.” And I thought to myself, “It can’t be that they’re just grinding their teeth.” The more we investigated, the more we found out that sleep apnea was the cause of patients losing their teeth and having that breakdown.
So, when you come to Anacapa Dental to have comprehensive dental care, we will screen you for sleep apnea just to make sure that you are healthy as an individual before we start fixing your teeth. If you are severe, meaning that if you stop breathing a lot during your sleep, we would work with our medical professionals and provide you something called a CPAP. And most patients, they hate CPAP. CPAP is the mask that you wear when you sleep at night. Most patients hate that.
So, we have a second tier of treatment, which is sleep appliance. And this is an appliance, which we put in patient’s mouth, posture their jaw forwards so that you can breathe. Now, how do we do it differently from most practices? So, most practices will give you the appliance and say, “Hey, why don’t you use this? And, you know, good luck, and we’ll see you in six months, or a year, or a year and a half.” The question is, how do you know that that sleep appliance is working?
So, we are able to provide the patients, you know, sleep studies, we have a sleep center just here around the corner, where we send the patient for a sleep study with their appliance in because we need data to know that it’s working, right? We need data to know how much to adjust the appliance. We need data to know that the patient’s health is getting better. So, there are all of these things that we do to give the patient a complete service.
Sleep apnea is a very serious condition. It can give rise to things like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, so many healthcare, you know, health conditions, which we didn’t know what caused them. And when you go to your physician, usually, your physician will write your prescription for high blood pressure, write your prescription for diabetes, but it could be that sleep has contributed to a lot of these conditions.