Zanesville Dental Sleep Medicine Center
Dr. Charles Hawkins is the first dentist in Ohio to be accredited by The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine for treating snoring and sleep apnea in Southeastern Ohio.
37 Million Americans are affected by Sleep Apnea.
So exactly what is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious, potentially life-threatening disorder that is defined by brief interruptions in breathing during sleep. These breathing cessations can last anywhere from 10 seconds to 3 minutes. This causes the blood oxygen level to go down. Eventually, the brain notices the drop in oxygen and causes the body to arouse and begin breathing again. Thus, the deep, restorative sleep cycle called REM is interrupted. This puts a strain on the heart and lungs to play “catch up”.
Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
• Loud, excessive snoring
• Excessive daytime sleepiness (falling asleep at inappropriate times)
• High blood pressure
• Memory problems
• Morning headaches
• Feeling of depression
• Acid reflux/heartburn
• Nocturia (frequent night time urination)
• Weight gain
• Limited attention
• Poor judgment
• Personality issues (hyperactivity in children)
If you experience 2 or more of the above symptoms, we encourage you to be further screened. Patients of Hawkins Complete Dental Service are screened for sleep apnea at their regular appointments. However, if you are not a patient and wish to see if you are at risk, simply go to www.mysleeptest.com
Individuals who screen “at risk” need to complete a sleep study to be accurately diagnosed. Diagnosis for sleep apnea is only made based on sleep study results. A sleep study can be done either at a sleep lab, or at home. Dr. Hawkins or your general physician can recommend which is best for you based on your risk factors.
Treatment recommendations for sleep apnea are based on the severity of the disorder. Snoring (with no apnea), slight and moderate sleep apnea are best treated with a Mandibular Repositioning Dental Appliance (oral appliance) according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. An Oral Appliance is designed to hold the lower jaw forward to allow the airway to stay open.
Severe sleep apnea is best treated with a C-PAP machine. A C-PAP machine uses forced air through a mask to keep the airway open. There is a large population of people diagnosed with severe sleep apnea that have been fitted with a C-PAP machine that cannot tolerate it. For those individuals an oral appliance may be a viable alternative. Alternative treatment is better than no treatment at all when dealing with a life threatening disorder like sleep apnea.
Dr. Hawkins follows his oral appliance patients closely. Once all adjustments are made to the oral device, he has his patients participate in second sleep study to ensure the device is treating the sleep apnea properly. Dr. Hawkins also works closely with your general physician and the sleep doctors at the Genesis Sleep Disorder Center to achieve the best treatment for your sleep apnea disorder.
If you suspect yourself, or a loved one, is suffering from snoring or sleep apnea please call our office at (740) 455-6286. All initial consults at the Zanesville Dental Sleep Medicine Center are at NO COST.
Genesis Sleep Disorder Center
2951 Maple Avenue Zanesville, OH 43701