Welcome to Santa Cruz Dental Sleep Medicine
What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?
Sleep apnea is characterized by abnormal breathing patterns while asleep. This irregular breathing is due to an obstruction in the airway that takes place during sleep. The obstruction comes from the tongue loosening and then collapsing into the airway. A blocked airway is very bad for breathing, and the result is the snoring you hear when the body is fighting to breathe.
Loud snoring is mostly what sleep apnea is known for. However, relatively unknown to most are the adverse medical side effects that are linked to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is quite scary, on top of snoring you will notice gasping coming from someone who is suffering from this terrible condition. This gasping is because the body is fighting to breathe; apnea literally means “cessation of breath”. In severe cases of sleep apnea people can stop breathing up to 30 or more times in a single hour.
This irregular breathing pattern leads to very bad sleep. Cardiac problems, high blood pressure, and increased chance of stroke are just a few of the side effects linked to untreated sleep apnea; the American Heart Association (AHA) compared its risk to that of smoking cigarettes. In addition to medical effects sleep apnea leaves sufferers dealing with Extreme Daytime Sleepiness (EDS). This daytime fatigue leaves people feeling unproductive, unmotivated, and can lead to feelings of depression. Those people commuting to work each day are at a higher risk of getting into a car accident; many thousands of car accidents annually are attributed to people driving tired.
Finding quality sleep apnea treatment should be a top priority to anyone suffering from it!
About Dr. Rick Smith
Located in Santa Cruz, CA Dr. Rick Smith is one of the leading sleep apnea doctors in the area. He is an expert in Dental Sleep Medicine, and is an accredited member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. Oral appliance therapy is the treatment option offered to Dr .Smith’s patients. Dr. Smith is recognized by insurance companies as a specialist of oral medicine. This allows Dr. Smith to get his patient’s sleep appliances covered through medical insurance instead of dental insurance to treat their sleep apnea.
Our Sleep Apnea Treatments
An oral appliance is a great alternative to wearing a CPAP machine which most people are intolerant too. An oral appliance is crafted by a dentist with a working knowledge of Dental Sleep Medicine. This appliance is to be worn during sleep and functions to help keep the airway open and allow for proper breathing.
If you already are diagnosed with OSA and do not like wearing your CPAP, or are unsure whether you have it but would like a consultation, than call Dr. Smith today. His reputation is unmatched in the area for treating sleep apnea through oral appliance therapy; patients often drive to his Santa Cruz office from places such as Watsonville, Salinas, Los Gatos and even from the other side of the bay in Monterey. So call today, Dr. Smith can help you to once again achieve quality sleep.