This is a picture of me after the gentleman in the background has me fully hooked up to all the electrodes and monitors necessary to do a sleep study at the Good Shepard Sleep Center in Tampa, FL, on Hillsborough Road just east of RaceTrack Road on Friday February 8, 2013.
I have a sleep disorder. I thought I slept great, it was the people around me that had the problem sleeping while I slept and snored loudly. My wife wore earplugs and occasionally checked my pulse because I had stopped breathing and she thought I had died in my sleep. I had recurrent dreams of holding my breath under water and I would awake with a start. I sweated a lot at night. I also kept TUMS on my nightstand, using them multiple times a week due to stomach acid re-flux. I never put all of these things together, nor did I ever think my fathers chronic loud “snoring” had anything to do with the senile dementia he began t suffer from in his early seventies.
Being a dentist I had heard of oral devices to treat snoring and mild sleep apnea. Three patients in a row in mid 2011 asked me to make one of these devices for them. Even with no knowledge about them or how they worked, each patient was very positive and enthusiastic. The first light went off in my head. I found a “Sleep Course” for dentists in Tampa that summer of 2011. SHASAM! This was a two day 16 hour course and I got to wear an Embletta home sleep monitor that night at home, the results were down loaded by one of the course directors and presented later in the second day. I was classified as having mild to moderate sleep apnea and heavy snoring, but most alarming to me was that my blood oxygen saturation dropped to as low as 68% – this is a number that is not compatible with life and so low that chronic oxygen saturation this low will certainly lead to brain cell death (my fathers dementia?).
I now own 4 different types of oral jaw re positioning devices and I sleep so much better and so do all those around me. No more stomach acid reflux, no recurrent dreams of drowning.
My office is beginning a relationship with The Good Shepard Sleep Center to help treat the very large percentage of people who might benefit from a better nights sleep.
Paul L. Caputo, DDS3490 E Lake Rd S Suite A