Have you been diagnosed with sleep apnea? Does your husband or wife talk about your snoring, or does it wake you up? Are you constantly tired after sleeping all night? Academy of Clinical Sleep Disciplines board certified Dr. Timothy E. Mickiewicz can help! Our goal is getting you back to a well-rested, healthy life. If you have or suspect you have sleep apnea, contact our office in Sacramento, CA, to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mickiewicz.
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Sleep Apnea: What is it All About?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a medical condition that occurs when airflow to the lungs is blocked due to the relaxation of the muscles around the tongue and throat during sleep. Airway blockage results in repeated breathing pauses and reduced levels of oxygen in the blood when sleeping. The quality of your sleep impacts every facet of your overall health and day-to-day functioning. Getting a good night’s rest contributes to your appearance and performance every day. When you do not get the sleep you need, these areas are negatively affected.
Approximately 70 million people in the United States have a sleep disorder.
One of the most common is obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, which causes breathing to stop multiple times a night, for a few seconds to over a minute. Every time you stop breathing in your sleep, the lack of oxygen alerts your brain and your body to wake up to breathe. As a result of the constant wake-sleep cycle, your body never reaches the deep sleep stage needed to refuel your body. Constant waking activates the body’s fight-or-flight response, which can negatively affect your heart rate, blood pressure, and hormone levels.
Do I have OSA?
A physical examination can determine if you suffer from OSA. Doctors who specialize in sleep apnea will perform either an overnight sleep study or a home sleep test. After your doctor carefully analyzes the data from these tests, he can make an official diagnosis.
Signs and symptoms of OSA are varied but distinct. If you suffer from any of these symptoms, please contact our office for an evaluation.
- Loud snoring at night
- Headaches in the morning
- Nodding off or extreme drowsiness during the day
- Snorting or choking during the night
- Chronic insomnia or difficulty sleeping
- You need frequent naps and never feel rested
- High blood pressure that is hard to treat
Multiple issues can cause OSA, ranging from natural causes to obesity to smoking. Below are a few of the most common causes and risk factors:
Age – Muscles in the throat lose definition with age. As they weaken, they are more apt to block the airway during sleep.
Genetic Predisposition – Some people have a narrower throat or an enlarged tongue that obstructs the airway. Knowing your family medical history can help your doctor determine if you are at risk for OSA.
Smoking – Cigarette smoke irritates the lungs, throat, and esophagus, and causes fluid buildup in the upper airways. This can lead to inflammation that obstructs airways.
Weight – In most cases, excess weight is directly linked to OSA. An abundance of fatty tissues can restrict airflow when the upper respiratory system pathways are narrowed or blocked during sleep.
If not treated, OSA can cause significant damage to your health and negatively affect all areas of your life. Relationships, recreational, and work activities, may suffer due to low levels of energy. With a compromised immune system, you raise your risks of serious health problems, as well. These issues include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Chronic acid reflux
- Erectile dysfunction
- Chronic fatigue
Dr. Mickiewicz will work with your primary care physician and specialists to address sleep apnea risk factors. Returning patients to good health and a full life is always our goal.
Dr. Mickiewicz recommends treating OSA with a custom-fitted oral appliance called a mandibular advancement device or MAD. Research shows that oral appliance therapy is effective in decreasing snoring and relieving OSA. A MAD supports the jaw in a forward position to maintain an open airway during sleep.Mandibular advancement devices are comfortable to wear, convenient to use in all settings (at home and traveling), quiet, and easy to care for
“I have had headache issues for the last 35 years. Every morning greeted me with a headache. I’ve been to many doctors and have had many X-rays and cat scans of my head and neck. I was treated for migraines and neck issues. Nothing worked. I went to Dr. Mickiewicz two months ago and his diagnosis was TMJ. He fitted me with an appliance and the results are amazing. I have been back twice to have him adjust the appliance as my jaw loosens and adjusts, and he is always very patient with my extra-long explanations. I wish I had known him 35 years ago. FYI – I am now waking up without headaches – it is a good start to any day. Thanks Dr. Mick!”Lily S.
“I have been seeing Dr Mickiewicz for over two years and am very satisfied with his services. I have a sleep apnea problem and rarely was getting any good nights rest. My medical doctor suggested I wear a large breathing machine… so I went ahead and got one and tried it out and and had nothing but problems trying to sleep with this large breathing machine strapped to my head. Then I saw Dr Mickiewicz and he has found the simplest and most affordable solution with my custom made mouthpiece that reshapes my jaw position just while I sleep! Bingo– no more sleep issues and also no more large breathing machine to struggle with! I am very grateful for his expertise and experience with sleep issues.”Tony A.
“I recently visited Dr. Mickiewicz after years of suffering from sleep apnea and no success using conventional CPAP machines. I was fitted with dental appliance in an effort to resolve the problem. Frankly, I was skeptical, but I am so pleased with the early results. I just started using the device last week and I am already seeing an improvement in the quality of my sleep. From my first contact with Dr. Mickiewicz, it was immediately apparent that his grasp of the issues surrounding sleep apnea were light years ahead of his peers. He is a true professional and I enthusiastically recommend him.”Don B.
“Always a great experience at this dental office. The front office has your paperwork prepared before you arrive. Everyone is very nice and friendly and hardworking. My teeth are thoroughly cleaned when I visit. This place is a step above the rest with the right amount of class and comfort.”Kara S.
“When I went to see Dr. Mickiewicz my jaw was locking up on me because my TMJ was so bad and my doctor didn’t really know what to do for me. This man changed my life. At my first visit I couldn’t even yawn without my jaw locking in the open position. At my last visit I could yawn and even chew steak without my jaw hurting.”Jewel L.
“I have spent thousands of dollars out of pocket to dentists for my TMJ problems with no lasting relief. Dr. Mickiewicz was able to give me relief after years of pain. I am also able to utilize my medical insurance for his services adding credibility to his level of service that goes beyond common dentistry. His extensive knowledge of the disorder was clear; combined with his personable disposition put me at ease. His staff also deserves mention they are true professionals with a clear constitution for compassion.”Cathleen J.
“My husband and I have gone to Dr. Mickiewicz for years after a recommendation of a coworker. Kind of strange to say that going to the dentist is an enjoyable experience – but it is! After years of having tense and painful visits to other dentists in Sacramento, we have found the right DDS for us: above average in all areas. He is an excellent practitioner, listens to all symptoms and concerns, answers all questions patiently and repeats as necessary. Gives us time to make any decisions about our dental care if we are hesitant, and encourages second opinions. His chair-side manner is relaxed and personable – which helps me relax. He is stuck with us for life! Thanks Dr. Mickiewicz and staff!”T.P.
Contact Our Office
Our comfortable and patient-friendly office is the perfect place to learn about OSA and discuss your oral sleep appliance options. Dr. Mick invites you to call (916) 469-9178 for an appointment to set up a sleep apnea appliance consultation.