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Sleep Apnea occurs when you stop breathing during sleep. Sleep apnea is usually accompanied by snoring and restless sleep, and often times it is the bed partner of the person with sleep apnea that will notice and report the problems.
Sleep apnea is a big problem because if breathing is interrupted during sleep the body’s tissues will become starved of oxygen. Dramatic drops in oxygen levels can effect major organs including the brain and heart. Sleep apnea has also been associated with the following systemic problems:
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Snoring
  • Worsening of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
  • Poor performance in everyday activities/mental fog
  • Motor vehicle crashes
  • Academic underachievement in children, adolescents and adults
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
Dr. Barbara Ford is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) and can provide an FDA-approved CPAP alternative for the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
If you have been diagnosed by a Sleep Physician with OSA, you may be a candidate for a custom oral appliance that helps maintain an open airway throughout the night, so you can obtain a restful and re-energizing night of sleep.
If you or someone you know is having difficulty staying asleep at night, Dr. Ford is able to use high-resolution pulse oximeters for patients interested in finding out if their snoring or sleep breathing concerns may have a more serious underlying condition.
The patient will take the wrist-band pulse oximeter home and sleep for a few nights having their oxygen levels monitored. Results are downloaded to a web-based program for a summary of oxygen levels during the night. This information is given to the patient and treatment with a sleep physician is coordinated to confirm a sleep apnea diagnosis.
For moderate to severe sleep apnea, the traditional treatment is the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which 'splints' the patient's airway open during sleep by means of a flow of pressurized air into the throat. The patient typically wears a plastic facial mask, which is connected by a flexible tube to a small bedside CPAP machine that generates the required air pressure to keep the patient's airways open during sleep. Although CPAP therapy is extremely effective in reducing apneas, not all patients are good candidates for the CPAP and some patients find it uncomfortable to use. 
According to the AADSM, oral appliances are a front-line treatment for patients with mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The appliance fits in the mouth during sleep similar to a sports mouth guard. It helps prevent the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat, keeping the airway open during sleep and allowing for adequate air intake. Follow-up visits and post-adjustment sleep studies help sleep physicians and dentists determine if oral appliance therapy is effectively treating their patient's sleep apnea. Some patients may use both the CPAP and oral appliance at different times.
There are six dentists in a 25-mile radius of Asheville that belong to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. These dentists have committed their practice to the Sleep Physician’s standards from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine to provide oral appliance therapy.
For more information concerning OSA, you can visit the website.
Fox Dental Associate’s dedicated team of caring professionals are continually on the forefront of advanced dentistry and will only recommend treatment that truly benefits you.
Call 828-252-2791 to make a Dental Sleep Screening or new patient appointment.


Snoring is more than just noise!

Simply put, snoring is the sound of a restricted airway trying to get enough air in and out of the lungs so you can live! Unfortunately, snoring is usually ignored by loved ones and friends as just something some people do when they sleep. Barely audible snoring is not usually a health issue problem, but when it becomes loud enough to be heard in the next room, it’s time to seek help. If you snore loudly and have any of the following co-factors, you need to seek help:

  • Overweight
  • Hypertension (even if treated)
  • Neck size ≥17 inches in males and ≥16 inches in females
  • Esophageal Reflux (GERD) at night
  • Smoker
  • Alcohol drinker
  • Feel tired throughout the day (take a nap or feel sleepy driving)
Improve the quality of your sleep, call 828-252-2791 to make a Dental Sleep Screening.
Fox Dental Associates
2 Iris St.
Asheville, NC 28803
Phone: 828-252-2791
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Monday–Thursday 8:00am–4:30pm
Friday 8:00am – 3:30pm

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