What Is Sleep Apnea? by Hunt Valley, MD Dentist Dr. Joel Nathanson.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Probably the most well-known one is what’s called excessive daytime sleepiness. There’s actually a questionnaire that we administer to patients called the Epworth Sleepiness Scale that has a patient gauge how tired they are when they do certain activities– waiting at a traffic light, sitting watching TV, how they feel after having a large meal, something like that.
So daytime sleepiness is a sign that a person may not be breathing properly when they sleep. Certain medical conditions accompany sleep apnea– high blood pressure, diabetes. If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, and you snore, you almost certainly have sleep apnea. So those are things that we look for when trying to see whether a person might be a candidate for sleep apnea treatment.
Our Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Effective 5 P.M today (03/24), the Maryland Department of Health issued a directive stating that health care providers “shall perform only medical procedures that are critically necessary for the maintenance of health for a patient. All elective and nonurgent medical [and dental] procedures and appointments shall cease effective at 5 p.m., Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and shall not be performed for the duration of the catastrophic health emergency.”
So the question you may have in response to this is “What would be considered an ‘urgent’ condition for which I SHOULD seek treatment?” To answer this question with regard to dental emergencies, the American Dental Association (ADA) has published the following guidance:
Dental care that you should have taken care of by a dentist at this time:
Bleeding that doesn’t stop
Painful swelling in or around your mouth
Pain in a tooth, teeth or jaw bone
Gum infection with pain or swelling
After surgery treatment (dressing change, stitch removal)
Broken or knocked-out tooth
Denture adjustment for people receiving radiation or other treatment for cancer
Snipping or adjusting wire of braces that hurts your cheek or gums
Biopsy of abnormal tissue
Dental care you can reschedule for another time:
Regular visits for exams, cleanings, and x-rays
Regular visits for braces
Removal of teeth that aren’t painful
Treatment of cavities that aren’t painful
If you do have a true dental emergency (as described above), call your dentist or contact our office. STAY SAFE!