Did you know that there is serious health threat that is largely undiagnosed and can be easily screened by a dentist? It is called sleep apnea and is a form of sleep disordered breathing that affects approximately 5% of the population. That percentage is much higher if you are a male over 50, overweight, and your neck is over 17 inches in diameter. In sleep apnea the upper airway is blocked by the surrounding tissue as it collapses during sleep. This reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood stream until it is so dangerously low that sleep must be interrupted in order to get a good breath. The net result is a night of restless sleep and fatigue during the day. The health consequences of this low oxygen level are increased risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and motor vehicle accidents.
The symptoms of sleep apnea are not rhythmic uninterrupted snoring, but rather prolonged periods of strained or non breathing punctuated by sudden gasps.
If you suspect that you or someone you know is affected by this serious health problem, I invite you to come to a short seminar at my office on Thursday, Oct 7, at 5:30pm. We will discuss sleep apnea in more detail, offer a screening test, and have a representative there to demonstrate a simple home test used to make a diagnosis. All of this is free, but I request an RSVP as space is limited.
Yours for excellent dental health,