Dentist - Towson
8600 LaSalle Rd. Suite 406 Severn Bldg.
Towson, MD 21286
410-321-0551

While most people think of snoring as an annoyance, research shows that it can be a sign of a hazardous health condition called sleep apnea.  The National Institute of Health statistics indicate that over 20 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).   Risk factors include being male, overweight and over the age of thirty five.  Sleep apnea can strike anyone at any age, even children.   People who suffer from OSA unknowingly and repeatedly stop breathing during the night due to a complete or partial obstruction of their airway.  Obstruction occurs when the throat, jaw and tongue muscles relax, blocking the airway used to breathe.  The resulting lack of oxygen can last for a minute or longer and can occur hundreds of times per night.   The repeating cycle - falling asleep, muscles relaxing, airway collapsing, unconsciously awakening with a gasp - is the reason there is never a restful night of sleep.   

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a serious chronic medical disease that may trigger other serious health problems:  chronic sleepiness, high blood pressure, morning headaches, heartburn, acid reflux, memory loss, frequent nighttime urination, depression, diabetes, heart attack and even sudden death.  Because OSA is a medical disease it must be diagnosed by a physician who will recommend a sleep study.  This exam will determine what type of OSA the patient suffers.  Initially, most patients are treated with a machine which forces oxygen down the airway.  This is the CPAP device.  Because over 80% of CPAP patients fail to continue using the machine due to significant uncomfortable side effects many chose an alternative treatment including a more comfortable oral appliance which opens the airway and allows the patient to sleep more comfortably.    Dr. Shulman is specifically trained to recognize and assess these conditions. He is devoted to understanding your symptoms and works closely with your sleep specialist, your primary care physician and other health care professionals  to help you find relief or eliminate your problem.

If you believe you or a loved one may have sleep apnea contact us for more information about screening and testing.  If you are a CPAP user looking for alternative treatment contact us to learn more about oral appliance therapy (OAT). 

Intra-oral appliances are professionally made, periodically monitored and easily adjusted to achieve the physiologic changes necessary  to promote a restful night of sleep.  Oral appliance therapy is recognized as a viable treatment option for snoring for mild-to-moderate sleep apnea and for those patients intolerant to CPAP therapy.

To optimize your health and get the answers to your questions contact Dr. Mark Shulman today at 410-321-0551.

                                                                                                        

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