Sleep Breathing Disorders


Of the 84 types of sleep disorders, two of these account for the vast majority of problems in getting a good night sleep. Insomnia is number one, and sleep apnea is number two. Sleep apnea, though number two in prevalence, has the added importance of being life threatening. Once diagnosed it is treatable with dental devices or other treatments. Dr. Chase uses a variety of custom airway orthotics depending on the type and severity of the problem. They are comfortable, easy to use, and very effective. In some ways it is like a sport's mouth guard, but not as thick.

I am rested now, don’t have to wear that CPAP, and just feel jazzier.
— Jeff

Often a cause of a person's death will be listed as a side effect of sleep apnea. Often individual and the doctors will not even know there was a problem.

This is not a condition that kills you acutely. It is a condition that erodes your health over time,”
— Dr. Michael J. Twery, director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research.

In the United States, 12 to 18 million people have moderate to severe sleep apnea. For these people the consequences are much more than running tired or having a lack of energy for normal activities. Some of the more serious effects can include hypertension, stomach reflux, heart attacks, frequent sicknesses, diabetes, impotence, depression, and weight gain. The damage of fragmented sleep carries over to functional problems such as falling asleep at the wheel, irritability, loss of concentration, impaired school or work performance, marital problems, and fatigue.

For people with sleep apnea, their upper airway becomes narrowed or blocked periodically during sleep. That keeps air from reaching the lungs. Breathing then stops for seconds to over a minute until the muscles pull hard enough to overcome the obstruction, often in the throat. This stressful event can happen hundreds of times during the night. A sleep breathing problem is not significant enough to wake the sufferer up in the night, but instead it can move that person from a deep to light sleep. Breathing then resumes. Therefore, a person may have enough hours in the bed, yet they do not have enough recovery sleep and suffer during the day physically. The body will slowly erode in health physiologically.

William C. Dement, the father of sleep medicine, states, "Sleep disordered breathing in its various manifestations is arguable the number one health problem in the U.S. and probably throughout the world."

It is amazing that such a seemingly simple device can make such a positive impact on all aspects of one's life. Dr. Chase takes this health problem very seriously.

Even more critical is the development of skeletal problems during childhood that lead to sleep problems as an adult. The symptoms are somewhat different, but the effects are just as damaging. Impaired growth, behavioral dysfunction, headaches, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and a variety of neuro-cognitive dysfunctions develop with each year the child grows. Additionally, the jaw loses its growth potential due to mouth breathing and other respiratory problems.

There is much more to this field, and this was just a brief summary of the negative impacts of sleep breathing disorders. If you wish to learn how sleep apnea treatment can help you or people you know, go to our CONTACT US page. For more information on this and other fields, head on over to the articles and references section of the MEDIA & LINKS page.