Snoring, gagging, and choking in your sleep are signs of a serious condition known as sleep apnea. Beth Caunitz, DDS, is a dentist and member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine who practices in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Dr. Caunitz partners with a board-certified sleep specialist to diagnose and treat your sleep apnea with the least invasive therapies possible. If you are suffering from sleep apnea, contact Dr. Caunitz now. You can reach her by phoning her helpful staff or using the online form to book a consultation.
Sleep apnea is a disorder that halts your breathing while you’re asleep. The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, in which the muscles at the back of your throat fail to keep your airway open. In a second, rarer form of sleep apnea — central sleep apnea — your airway is open, but your brain fails to signal the muscles that control your breathing during sleep. Sometimes you can have a combination of both types.
You probably do snore if you have sleep apnea, but it doesn’t work the other way around. Snoring comes from vibrations in your respiratory system as your airflow is obstructed, and if you’re only an occasional snorer or light snorer, it’s quite likely that you don’t have to worry about sleep apnea. Those who have to listen to you snore are likely bothered by it quite a bit more than you are!
Constant and heavy snorers, however, are more at risk, because the continual — and sometimes total — lack of oxygen into your respiratory system for several seconds at a time awakens you with a gasp or a snort to get you to breathe again. These pauses in your breathing pattern are called apneas.
Sleep apnea can be dangerous because it interrupts your restorative sleep. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to:
Daytime drowsiness raises your risk of car crashes and other accidents. Sleepiness can also dull your performance at work or school.
The most accurate tool to diagnose sleep apnea and its severity is a comprehensive sleep study. Dr. Caunitz now offers an at-home dental program sleep test.
In a sleep study, Dr. Caunitz gives you a unique recording device to wear while you sleep. After you return the device to Dr. Caunitz, she downloads the information it collected and shares it with a board-certified sleep specialist.
Either at her office or in the comfort of your home, Dr. Caunitz arranges a Skype-like video conference involving you, her, and your sleep specialist. Based on your sleep study results, your specialist gives you a specific diagnosis and recommends a treatment plan.
To keep your oxygen flowing amid silent, restful sleep, Dr. Caunitz finds the right mouthpiece to clear away obstructions to your respiratory system.
Oral appliance therapy is Dr. Caunitz’s preferred treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnea because it’s easy, portable, noninvasive, and effective. Oral appliances shift your jaw forward during sleep so your airway stays open. Dr. Caunitz custom-designs your precision-made, clinically tested device to make sure it improves your sleep and quality of life.
To be evaluated and treated for sleep apnea, contact Dr. Caunitz. You can use the online form to set up an appointment or phone her friendly staff.