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18 million have obstructive sleep apnea.You have probably heard the joke: “If you laugh, the world laughs with you. If you snore, you sleep alone!” Now it doesn’t have to be that way. We have one of the newest and most effective ways to treat sleep apnea, without forced air or an uncomfortable mask.
Now you can take advantage of a complimentary screening and learn whether you need to see a sleep apnea professional.
Dr. Merriman is a Diplomate of both, the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (ABDSM) and the American Board of Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine (ABCDSM). A minority of dentists ever achieve Diplomate status with one Dental Sleep Board, and fewer do so with multiple Boards. There are currently only approximately 300 such dentists in the United States. She attained this prestigious recognition by successfully completing a multi-stage process of both Boards which included meeting stringent pre-certification requirements, a comprehensive written examination and a thorough review of patient care skills and outcomes through evaluation of submitted clinical cases treated by her.
Untreated, sleep apnea can:
- Increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and diabetes
- Increase the risk of, or worsen, heart failure
- Make arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs), or irregular heartbeats, more likely
- Increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents
- Cause excessive daytime sleepiness
- Contribute to memory loss
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. If the sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, breathing stops when tissue in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the airway, reducing the amount of oxygen delivered to all of your organs including your heart and brain. As a result, the quality of your sleep is poor, which makes you tired during the day. Sleep apnea is a leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness and is linked to many medical conditions that have serious health consequences.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea
People with sleep apnea may snore loudly and stop breathing for short periods of time. When the blood-oxygen level drops low enough, the body momentarily wakes up. It can happen so fast that you may not be aware you woke up. This can happen hundreds of times a night, and you may wake up in the morning feeling fatigued.
Signs of Sleep Apnea
Listed below are some common signs of sleep apnea:
- Unintentionally falling asleep during the day
- Sleep that is not refreshing
- Waking from sleep with a choking sound or gasping for breath
- Loud snoring
- Morning headaches and fatigue
- Irritability and mood disorders
- Decreased sex drive
- Impaired concentration
- Weight gain
- Difficulty losing weight
If you have any of these symptoms, you might have sleep apnea. For many patients diagnosed with sleep apnea, an oral appliance is the therapy of choice. For others who have been prescribed CPAP therapy but are unwilling or unable to tolerate it, an oral appliance is the next option to consider.
Dr. Merriman has created the New Jersey Dental Sleep Medicine Center dedicated to managing sleep-related breathing disorders and snoring. Visit her sleep apnea site today to find out more ways that she can help you get a good night’s sleep.
We would love to schedule you for a sleep apnea consultation with Dr. Merriman. Also as a courtesy, we can do a benefits check with your medical insurance. There is a small fee to do so but it is reimbursable once moving forward with treatment.