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Dr. Erika Mason Midlothian, Virginia D-ABDSM, D-ACSDD

Website: http://www.sleepbetterva.com

Address: 11061 Hull Street Road Midlothian, VA 23112

Email: sleepbetterva@gmail.com

Phone: 1-800-MORE-SLEEP (804-745-0666)

Dr. Erika Mason is founder of Sleep Better Virginia and past president of the Virginia Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.  Dr. Mason has been practicing general dentistry for more than 25 years and has more than 100 continuing education hours in the field of sleep apnea.  She currently devotes a significant portion of her practice helping patients identifyeffective treatment solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).  She is a sought-after lecturer on subjects related to obstructive sleep apnea, advances in dental sleep medicine, and oral appliance devices.

Dr. Mason’s patients know her as a dental professional with high standards and a genuine interest in her patient’s overall health and wellbeing.  She is dedicated to seeking out opportunities for continuing education and expanding her knowledge to best serve patients. For More on Dr. Mason Click Here

Wednesday
Mar112015

Untreated Sleep Apnea Problems, Dentist Dr. Erika Mason, Richmond, Virginia 

 

For years, movies, television, and cartoons are treated snoring as a source of humor. But snoring can have serious effects on someone’s health. Dr. Erika Mason of Sleep Better Virginia explains the problems that can arise from untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Starting about in the thirties age group, snoring can affect a patient’s blood pressure. What typically happens then is that a primary care physician will prescribe blood pressure control medication. Dr. Mason says that this is frequently a situation that is a result of untreated OSA.

Another condition that contributes and adds to the blood pressure problem is diabetes, usually in ten-year segments. A number of cardiac-related issues, including atrial fibrillation, stroke, heart attack, and other cardiac problems can all flow from untreated OSA. As Dr. Mason points out, “You could even die in your sleep” from OSA.

The good news for OSA patients is that things can improve dramatically with the successful treatment of this condition. For example, Dr. Mason says, patients with high blood pressure often get such good results that, after a month of treatment, their blood pressure will drop sufficiently that they will need to take a lower dosage of the medicine or stop taking it completely. Patients will usually find that they need less of medications they have been taking for OSA-related problems, and their general health is improved.

Dr. Mason says that there is some relationship between obesity and OSA, but obesity by itself is not necessarily an indicator. “If you are obese or morbidly obese,” the likelihood of sleep apnea goes up. However, very thin people can also have OSA. In the end, it all depends on “the plumbing” of a patient’s windpipe and throat.

For over 25 years, Erika Mason, D.D.S. of Sleep Better Virginia has built a highly successful dental practice, renowned for its innovative services, focused on the care and comfort of patients. Along with general dentistry, she offers a wide variety of progressive dental techniques; including treatment of sleep apnea and treatment of migraine headaches all with the aid of the most advanced technology in order to help her patients feel better, sleep better, and look better. She spoke with Sleep Better TV, providing online sleep breathing disorder video news content. Sleep Better TV is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.

Friday
Mar062015

Pediatric Sleep Disorders, Dentist Dr. Erika Mason, Richmond, Virginia

Most of us probably think of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) as a problem that adults face, but in fact, it can be a problem for children as well. Dr. Erika Mason of Sleep Better Virginia explains pediatric OSA in this report.

 

Dr. Mason explains that, at the threshold, a child who has one event (stops breathing or is oxygen deprived) in a night is considered to have sleep apnea. In an adult, the threshold is four or five such events. Pediatric sleep apnea is usually the result of enlarged tonsils. Children who have that problem, especially if they sleep on their backs, will like have sleep apnea and will not get the sleep they require.

Dr. Mason points out that children react to sleep deprivation differently than adults. Children who are sleep deprived will probably get cranky or act out, instead of lying down to take a nap as an adult would do. Sometimes, children who are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD are in fact sleep deprived. Children need a lot of sleep in order to grow and develop properly and to remember the things they learn in school. In a child of five or six, bed wetting can be a symptom of sleep apnea.

Dr. Mason notes that snoring is never normal for children. She says that it is “kind of cool” for the dentist is to look into a child’s throat and spot enlarged tonsils that might be obstructing the airway of a child who has some of the problems she describes. Then, it is just a matter of find an ENT who understands the situation and can remove the child’s tonsils and adenoids. That often solves the problem.

Dr. Mason says that grinding teeth (bruxism) has been thought to be related to stress. But when small children grind their teeth, it makes no sense, as they should not normally be stressed in the same way as adults. In fact, bruxism has been found to be caused by the brain sending a signal to the jaw to move forward so as to open the airway. And as noted, the problem in children can probably be solved by removing the tonsils and adenoids.

For over 25 years, Erika Mason, D.D.S. of Sleep Better Virginia has built a highly successful dental practice, renowned for its innovative services, focused on the care and comfort of patients. Along with general dentistry, she offers a wide variety of progressive dental techniques; including treatment of sleep apnea and treatment of migraine headaches all with the aid of the most advanced technology in order to help her patients feel better, sleep better, and look better. She spoke with Sleep Better TV, providing online sleep breathing disorder video news content. Sleep Better TV is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.

Friday
Mar062015

Snoring, Dentist Dr. Erika Mason, Richmond, Virginia

 

As everyone knows, dentists spend a lot of time looking down their patients’ throats. This gives them a lot of familiarity with the landscape where snoring comes from. Dr. Erika Mason of Sleep Better Virginia explains why snoring matters in this report.

 

Dr. Mason points out that a dentist will probably look down a patient’s throat for 45 minutes to an hour at least twice per year. Dentists and hygienists are checking on patients, doing oral cancer screenings, and checking on medications that patients are taking. And looking just a little farther back, a dentist may notice that a patient’s throat is red, irritated, and swollen. The dentist can at this point simply ask the patient, “Has anyone ever told you that you snore?” It’s good practice to phrase the question this way so the patient doesn’t deny it out of habit.

Snoring is very often related to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It can be benign, Dr. Mason says, but a dentist who treats patients for sleep apnea must rule out “primary snorers” from those who have sleep apnea. Dr. Mason says she might treat four people who are primary snorers in a year compared to hundreds who have sleep apnea.

So it is important for the dentist to follow up and not simply accept patients’ statements that their snoring is benign. It is important to perform a home sleep test to determine what kind of snoring is going on. “Nine chances out of ten, it’s not benign.” Once a determination is made, the dentist can proceed with the production of a snore guard.

For over 25 years, Erika Mason, D.D.S. of Sleep Better Virginia has built a highly successful dental practice, renowned for its innovative services, focused on the care and comfort of patients. Along with general dentistry, she offers a wide variety of progressive dental techniques; including treatment of sleep apnea and treatment of migraine headaches all with the aid of the most advanced technology in order to help her patients feel better, sleep better, and look better. She spoke with Sleep Better TV, providing online sleep breathing disorder video news content. Sleep Better TV is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.

Thursday
Feb052015

What Is Sleep Apnea? Dr. Erika Mason of Sleep Better Virginia Explains

Everyone knows that snoring can be an annoyance to one’s bed partner or others in a household. But not everyone knows that snoring can be associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Dr. Erika Mason of Sleep Better Virginia explains OSA in this report.

 As Dr. Mason points out, some people think of snoring as a somewhat humorous condition that is harmless (aside from the annoyance of being near a snorer), but there is more to it than that. When people reach their thirties, snoring can begin to cause health problems. For example, snoring can increase blood pressure. Someone whose primary care physician prescribes a blood pressure medication may be in fact a victim of sleep apnea.

Other health problems associated with OSA include diabetes and cardiovascular ailments, including atrial fibrillation. People can die in their sleep from problems associated with OSA. The prospect is scary but very real, says Dr. Mason. OSA is a serious condition and should not be taken lightly.

On the bright side, the problems associated with OSA improve after successful treatment of the condition. For example, in the instance of people with hypertension issues, a month after successful management of their OSA, their blood pressure will often improve to the point that they can discontinue their blood pressure medication. Patients whose OSA is treated find that their general health improves.

Obesity and OSA have a correlation. Dr. Mason points out that the existence of an OSA problem can’t be predicted simply by looking at a patient’s weight. However, as weight goes up, particularly towards morbid obesity, the chances greatly increase that a patient will have sleep apnea. Still, the problem always comes down to the patient’s mouth and jaw: “It’s all about the plumbing,” says Dr. Mason. “The windpipe and the plumbing of [the] throat” will be the things that cause the problem.

For over 25 years, Erika Mason, D.D.S. of Sleep Better Virginia has built a highly successful dental practice, renowned for its innovative services, focused on the care and comfort of patients. Along with general dentistry, she offers a wide variety of progressive dental techniques; including treatment of sleep apnea and treatment of migraine headaches all with the aid of the most advanced technology in order to help her patients feel better, sleep better, and look better. She spoke with Sleep Better TV, providing online sleep breathing disorder video news content. Sleep Better TV is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.

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