What?! Why would a DENTIST be asking me about my Sleeping Habits or Sleep Apnea?

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The dentist may be the first person who sees that you may be at risk for Sleep Apnea—specifically, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea? (OSA) – OSA is a medical condition where your airway collapses or is obstructed while you are asleep. Result: you do not get adequate oxygen in your blood, and to your brain.

It is measured by the average number of times you either stop breathing (apnea for 10+ seconds!) or have inade- quate oxygen uptake (under 50%) during breathing per hour while you are asleep. This Apnea plus hypopnea index (AHI)- measures the severity of sleep apnea.

Over 5 episodes per hour is by definition Obstructive Sleep Apnea, with over 30 episodes per hour being severe Sleep Apnea!


Besides being tired and fatigued, and being at higher risk for a car accident, and possibly snoring and having a disturbed nights sleep for you and your partner and …Untreated OSA is known to significantly increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, chronic fatigue, GERD, stroke, diabetes, cancer, depression, Atrial Fibrillation, mental fogginess and dementia!

While you are sleeping if you have OSA, your body struggles for oxygen and leaves behind tell- tale signs. During the routine Oral Cancer screening, the dentist will see these signs that correlate with OSA:

  • Scalloped Sides of Tongue Indicative of Clenching
  • Enlarged Tongue
  • Small Natural Airway and/ or Retruded Lower Jaw
  • Swollen or Elongated Uvula
  • Enlarged Tonsils
  • Heightened Gag Reflex
  • Tooth Cracking and Chipping from Bruxism and/or Clenching
  • Cheek Abrasions from Bruxism
  • Dry mouth

If you are looking for a dentist and team that truly cares about your total health – give us a a call today! 609-921-7744, www.deciccidental.com 67 Tamarack Circle, Skillman NJ 08858

Dr. Mary DeCiccio