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Sleep Apnea & Snoring

Don’t let untreated sleep disorders like sleep apnea, snoring, and TMJ degrade your overall health and well-being. Van Gordon Monroe is committed to improve your quality of life.

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What is Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that occurs when your airway fully or partially collapses during sleep, resulting in the blockage or limitation of airflow to the lungs. As sleep continues, the airway closes tighter the harder you try to breathe. Eventually, your brain wakes you up to a lighter sleep level allowing you to gasp for breath and reposition your jaw and tongue to open your airway. The process then begins again, over and over, sometimes hundreds of times per night.

Stages of Sleep

It is critical that we get the deepest, most restful sleep possible to live a happy and healthy life.

Sleep has these four main stages:

  • Stage 1 – Transition Sleep: This is the dozing off stage where the body isn’t fully relaxed yet. It accounts for about 5% of total sleep time.
  • Stage 2 – Light Sleep: During this stage, which accounts for about 45% of total sleep time, heart rate, breathing, and brain activity slows, muscles begin to relax, and body temperature drops. 
  • Stage 3 – Deep Sleep: Known as restorative sleep where healing and reparative functions take place including bolstering of the immune system, stage 3 accounts for about 25% of total sleep time. 
  • Stage 4 – Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep: REM sleep is believed to be essential to cognitive functions like memory, learning, and creativity. This stage, which accounts for about 25% of total sleep time, is where most vivid dreaming takes place and most brain activity is present. Muscles are in a state of temporary paralysis except for the eyes and muscles that control breathing. People with an insufficient amount of REM sleep tend to be mentally tired and lack concentration.

Sleep Apnea is a serious medical concern. Find out how we can help you sleep better.

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Tired of feeling tired?

It’s time to smile again as you finally get a good night’s rest! Schedule an appointment online and we’ll help you get the rest you deserve.

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What is Snoring?

During sleep, the throat muscles relax and your tongue falls back as your throat narrows and slackens. As you breathe, the wall of your throat vibrates when you breathe in and out, causing a snoring noise. The more relaxed and narrow your airway becomes, the greater the vibrations and the louder the snoring. Snoring may be having a more significant impact on you and those around you than you realize and it should be addressed with your doctor or dentist.

Snoring 101

What You Didn’t Know About Snoring

  • Snoring can be a symptom of a more serious health problem like sleep apnea or carotid atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the main arteries of the neck), which could cause a stroke.
  • Snoring may disrupt your sleep and the sleep of those around you.
  • Approximately 90 million Americans snore.
  • Snoring is most common in men and those who are overweight, but it also impacts women and children.

How can I stop snoring? 

  • People who suffer from mild or occasional snoring, but still wake up refreshed and functioning well, may try the following before consulting a sleep doctor:
    • Lose weight
    • Avoid sleeping pills and antihistamines before bedtime
    • Avoid heavy meals or snacks three hours before bedtime
    • Avoid alcohol for four hours before bedtime
    • Establish regular sleeping patterns and routines
    • Side sleep rather than back sleep

When is it time to consult a doctor?

  • If you snore and have any of these signs/symptoms:
    • Recent weight gain
    • Morning headaches
    • Waking feeling unrested
    • Waking feeling confused
    • Excessive daytime sleepiness
    • Change in attention, concentration, or memory
    • Observed pauses in breathing during sleep

If you’re tired of being tired, it’s time to get some sleep help.

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What is TMJ?

For many patients, relatively simple lifestyle changes can make a significant impact on the severity of their sleep disordered breathing and TMJ related pain.

TMJ 101

The temporomandibular joint or TMJ is a sliding hinge connecting your jawbone to your skull. TMJ disorders can cause pain in the jaw muscles and joints. Determining the cause can be tricky and many factors can contribute to these disorders.

Those who have TMJ may suffer from:

  • Jaw pain or tenderness
  • Aching in and around the ear(s)
  • Pain or difficulty chewing
  • Facial pain
  • Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close the mouth

When is it time to consult a doctor?

  • Pain is persistent
  • Tenderness in the jaw
  • Inability to open or close jaw completely

Is it time to finally get help for your jaw pain? We’re here for you!

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Great sleep is our vision.

Van Gordon Monroe Dentistry Sleep Quiz

About 70 million American suffer from chronic sleep problems and an estimated 80% of moderate to severe cases of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) have gone undiagnosed. If left untreated, OSA can shorten your lifespan by decades.

If you’re tired of being tired all the time, regardless of your busy schedule, it’s time to take our Sleep Quiz to determine whether you need to seek professional help.

Say good night to your sleep problems.

We care about our patients’ whole health so you can smile from the inside out. With personalized care, modern technology, and a friendly environment, you can get the relief you deserve.

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