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Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea in Frederick - Dr. Jeffrey W. Cross - Sleep Disorder Treatment & Therapy

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a breathing condition characterized by restricted air passages which results in pauses in breathing which can last anywhere from several seconds to a couple of minutes or more. These interruptions have been documented in studies as happening as often as 30 times or more per hour.

Why Should I be Concerned?

For patients suffering from this condition, the continued disruption in breathing causes an imbalance between carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in the body. This in turn signals the brain to wake the body in order to restart normalized breathing processes. This internal response causes people with sleep apnea to fully or partially awaken as their body struggles to draw breath. This subconscious activity is often accompanied by excessively loud snoring and/or choking sensations as the body attempts to correct itself to normal function. As sufferers do not generally awaken fully, many are often unaware that they are afflicted with this potentially life threatening condition and instead are confused by the lack of restful sleep they are experiencing.

In addition to causing feelings of fatigue which can impact a patient’s personal and professional life, sleep apnea can leave affected individuals at risk of developing additional health concerns including high blood pressure, stroke, worsening of thyroid disease, congestive heart failure and death.

How Do I Correct It?

Early diagnosis and treatment is crucial to preventing this common condition from impacting your long term overall health. At the Frederick, MD dental practice of Jeffrey Cross, DDS, FAGD we have extensive experience in correcting sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Our approach to alleviating this widely prevalent and commonly undiagnosed condition is to begin with a comprehensive exam. During this assessment, Dr. Cross looks for a number of potential sleep apnea risk factors, such as the patient’s age and weight, anatomy of the back of the throat, and the presence of fat pads around their neck.

Patients then undergo a sleep study at home, using specialized equipment that monitors and records your breathing patterns while sleeping. The results are then evaluated by a specially trained sleep physician to determine whether or not you exhibit signs of sleep apnea. If a diagnosis of sleep apnea is made, Dr. Cross will then recommend the use of a corrective oral appliance which the patient wears while sleeping. Of course, the recommendation for this appliance is determined by many factors related to the patients overall health which could impact their likelihood of being a suitable candidate for this corrective measure. Just a couple of the considerations made with regard to recommending an oral appliance includes whether the patient has enough stable teeth to support the appliance and no problems with the jaw joint.

Our Frederick, MD practice is able to provide sleep apnea patients with corrective appliances in as little as three weeks from the date of diagnosis. We make sure that the device fits properly and that patients are confident about the proper use of the device. 

Contact Us Today

If your sleeping partner has been complaining about your snoring, or if you have noticed that you are especially tired it may be that you are one of millions of Americans who are impacted by this disorder. If so, make an appointment with Jeffrey Cross, DDS, FAGD at our Frederick office for a sleep assessment today.