Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Specialist
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to stop breathing for brief periods while you're sleeping. This condition may be serious, but it's also controllable with the help of an experienced, comprehensive dentist and oral medicine specialist like Dr. Gerald A. Cioffi at Gerald A. Cioffi DMD, PA in Orange Park, Florida. Oral appliances can help you breathe safely and easily, correcting sleep apnea in a non-invasive way.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

Gerald A Cioffi, DMD, PA

What is obstructive sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that causes interruption in breathing as you sleep. This is the result of airway obstruction, which typically happens when the throat muscles and tongue relax enough to block the airway. Patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea may be completely unaware that they have this condition, even though they may have breathing interruptions many times throughout the night. In many cases, a family member or other loved one is the one to notice that the patient snores or stops breathing during the night.


What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

  • The symptoms of sleep apnea include:
  • Loud snoring
  • Choking or gagging during the night
  • Drowsiness during the daytime
  • Restlessness during the night
  • Inability to concentrate during the day
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Dry mouth upon awakening
  • Sore throat upon awakening
  • Sleepiness while driving


What happens if sleep apnea is not treated?

If sleep apnea isn't treated, it can have very serious health consequences such as:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Auto accidents due to daytime drowsiness
  • Diabetes
  • Depression


How is sleep apnea treated?

One of the most effective possible treatments for sleep apnea is the oral appliance. An oral appliance repositions your jaw, which in turn prevents the airway obstruction as you sleep. Oral appliances are non-invasive, small in size, and easy to wear. They aren't painful or uncomfortable, and most patients find them to be a very successful solution for their obstructive sleep apnea.


The CPAP device is another traditional option for sleep apnea treatment. This type of device uses forced air to keep your airway open as you sleep. While CPAP machines can be effective if they're used as directed, it's quite common for patients to stop using them due to physical discomfort.


The oral appliances that Dr. Cioffi recommends -- the SomnoDent oral appliances -- have a strong record for safety and effectiveness. If you're having problems characteristic of obstructive sleep apnea, Dr. Cioffi is happy to examine you to determine whether this type of oral appliance can help. Simply contact the office anytime to make an appointment.

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