Sometimes, a snore is just a snore. Sometimes, it’s something more. You may have an obstructive sleep apnea.
For Dr. Roeder, it was something more. In 2008, he was diagnosed with triple severe obstructive sleep apnea. He and his wife both hated his CPAP machine. Then he found an alternative. He didn’t need a machine to sleep soundly through the night after all!
He’s now licensed to treat obstructive sleep apnea at Dream-Dentistry & Sleep Care in Quakertown, PA. He has treated several of his own patients who want to be free of their CPAP machine so successfully that sleep doctors often refer their patients to him.
Call 215-804-4777 to schedule an appointment with Dream-Dentistry & Sleep Care to be fitted with a dental appliance that can save you and free you from your CPAP machine. Your insurance company may even cover treatment by Dr. Roeder.Dr. Roeder on Patient With Sleep Apnea Read Transcript
When people come to us for dentistry, it's not all about dentistry because when I look in their mouth, I see other things, and one of the things I see is I see signs of obstructive sleep apnea, and what I say to them, and it surprises most people because most people don't want to admit that they snore or have a problem with that. So they think, "Oh, I just have headaches in the morning and that's normal. " It's not normal. It's not normal to be waking up multiple times during the night. What I say to them is I'll be looking at them, and I'll be talking about their teeth, and I'll say, "When was the last time somebody told you that you snored? " And they're like, "How do you know that? "
I explain to them, "Well, I can see these breaks in your teeth that, when your tongue falls in the back of your throat, cuts off your airway, your brain's not getting oxygen, and your brain says to my heart, speed up, raise the blood pressure, get that tongue out of my throat. " When that happens, it's a fight or flight response in your body. You don't realize it because you think you're sleeping, but when your teeth clench together during that fight or flight response, your tooth flexes, and it breaks out the enamel along the edges of your gums.
If I see something that looks like a little V right along your gums, that's a hint that you grind your teeth severely, or you have obstructive sleep apnea, and there are other signs. If the teeth are flat on the top, if I look on the X-ray and I don't see points on the teeth, I see flat, they're grinding severely. When I see those two things, or I'll see a big tongue that has it looks like scallops along the side like waves, that's because that tongue's getting pressed super hard between the teeth, the spaces between the teeth, and that means there's not enough room for that tongue. It's the body's way of trying to get the tongue out of the way so you can breathe.
When I see different signs and symptoms that they'll tell me about, I'll know that they're having a problem with that obstructive sleep apnea, so I offer to help them in a way that's not embarrassing in any way, it's helpful, and we offer to do a free screening that they can take home in their house, not in the hospital, to find out if they truly have a problem with that, or they don't. Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the biggest almost epidemics in this country today, and people are at risk for heart attacks and strokes.
What I love the most about my job is when a wife comes in and says, "My husband snores, it keeps me up all night long, " and then her husband comes in, I solve the snoring, and guess what, now they get to sleep in the same room together and they're smiling. If that's not appreciation, that's what we thrive on. We thrive on people being happy with what we do for them. If we can get two people to sleep together again and be happy with each other as opposed to elbowing each other and complaining, that helps their family life in ways that fixing a tooth will never do.
Sleep Apnea Explained
Obstructive sleep apnea is when the tissue in the back your throat relaxes and limits your airway, or when your airway is partially blocked by your tongue. As you can imagine, not getting enough air can cause you to wake up several times throughout the night and even put you at greater risk for more serious health issues like:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
Not to mention how crummy you probably feel if you’re missing out on a good night’s sleep every single night.
How Dr. Roeder Treats Sleep Apnea
This incident occurs when your blood oxygen level drops below what’s healthy. Using a dental appliance, Dr. Roeder was able to take his sleep apnea incidents down to 3.4 per hour from almost 88 per hour!
Dr. Roeder is an alumni of the notable Temple University Dental School in Philadelphia and has undergone general practice residency program at Sacred Heart Hospital. He started his own practice in 1988 and has been serving patients in Quakertown, PA for almost 30 years.