North Gate dental office adds sleep medicine specialist

By Wayne Tidwell, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PickensNorth Gate Dental
Dr. Aaron Larsen at the North Gate Comprehensive Dentistry offices.

The North Gate Station Comprehensive Dentistry office has added Dr. Aaron Larsen, an accomplished dentist with advanced training in sleep medicine, to the practice.

“He adds a special skill set to this whole process here,” Dr. Randy Muecke said. “Sleep apnea is a large issue. We have already seen that over the past few months. That adds a whole new dimension here that there is nothing around here that comes close to at all.”

Originally from Los Angeles, Larson attended Brigham Young University and the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, married a Dunwoody girl Jana and decided to make Atlanta their home. He has been practicing for 13 years and now practices in Sandy Springs with Dr. Muecke.

“ I always felt that being able to provide true comprehensive care for my patients is something I always wanted to do,” Larsen said. “So I learned how to do root canals and all of the surgical things that we would send to an oral surgeon typically such as extractions, bone grafts, implants, those sorts of things.”

Larsen said he got into dental sleep medicine and craniofacial pain as a result of his wife who suffered from it.

“A lot of times it occurs in the jaw joint and the posture of that individual changes to avoid the pain that can spread to the lower back, one of the most common maladies in our country,” Larsen said.

His role as a dentist is to determine if a jaw issue is the source of the pain.

“In my wife’s case, she had developed a breathing problem when she was a young girl, “Larsen explained. “This was brought on by the standard American diet high in carbohydrates and grains, rice, wheat, corn that is everywhere. When you eat something that is pro inflammatory the nose swells which leads to mouth breathing which causes the bones in the face to become more narrow. The result is that over time is breathing problems and grinding of the teeth occur.”

“People with apnea often times have a nasal obstruction and have jaw joint problems so you have to be able to treat all of those things if you are going to do it successfully,” Larsen said.

The sleep deprivation can lead to a myriad of health problems according to Dr. Muecke.

“People wind up with diabetes, heart issues and high blood pressure out of this Process,” Dr. Muecke said. “It’s an epidemic.”

“It’s remarkable to see the changes that people undergo when you restore functional breathing for them again,” Larsen said.

With a team approach, working with sleep specialists, sleep disorders can be treated through the dental office, according to Muecke.

“We can provide all of the diagnoses including home sleep tests and screen people if they have sleep disorder breathing,” Larsen said.

Dr. Larsen will be at the North Gate Dental office on Mondays and if demand increases will be there multiple days per week.

“I am passionate about all aspects of dentistry,” Larsen said. “The reason why I love it is to be able to see the profound changes that can be made in one’s self confidence and one’s demeanor by providing beautiful dentistry for them. And you add to that the ability to help them breathe and to restore nutrition with just counseling is really neat.”

Larsen and wife Anna, who he met while attending BYU, live in Milton and have a 17-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter.

North Gate Comprehensive Dentistry is located 30 N Gate Station Drive, 470-695-3534.

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