Jan 29

Somnodent Mandibular Advancement AppliancePeople that have been diagnosed with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea will benefit the most from using an oral appliance made by a dentist. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is the gold standard for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, many people cannot tolerate a CPAP. The reasons include the CPAP being to bulky and cumbersome, the CPAP mask leaking, dry mouth and nose, skin irritation, and annoying their bed partner with a noisy CPAP machine. An oral appliance can also be used to treat people that suffer from severe obstructive sleep apnea that are CPAP intollerant. A dentist that has been trained to treat patients that suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea can fabricate an oral appliance. The process is simple and painless, and can be completed in as little as two visits. Follow up is critical, as the appliance should be adjusted according to objective results obtained from a follow up sleep study. One should seek out a dentist that owns a portable sleep monitor like the Watch-Pat 200 or the Ares. This will reduce the expense and hassle involved with multiple sleep studies done in a sleep lab. I do recommend a final sleep study to be conducted in a sleep lab, once the appliance has been properly adjusted.

Tagged with:
Jan 28

Undiagnosed, and hence, untreated sleep apnea can be extremely dangerous, if not deadly. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea can increase your risk for developing the following:
• High blood pressure
• Diabetes
• Stroke Excessive daytime sleepiness
• Obesity accidents
• Heart disease
• Driving and work-related
• Decreased sex drive
• Depression
• Irritability
• Morning headaches
• Impaired concentration

If you or someone that you love snores, stops breathing while sleeping, or is excessively tired during the day, please contact your family physician so that he or she can diagnose your condition.

Tagged with:
Jan 27

Obstructive sleep apnea is a deadly medical problem that is becoming more prevelant. In recent years, dentists have become an integral part of the team approach in the treatment of obstructive slee apnea. This is due to several realsons. First, dentists see their patients on a more regular basis than their physician collegues. Second, dentists have been trained extensively in the anatomy and physiology of the airway. This knowledge is essential in the recognition of the signs and symptoms of sleeping and breathing disorders, namely obstructive sleep apnea. Upon recognition, dentists can refer their patients to the appropriate sleep physician or sleep center for a proper diagnosis. Lastly, dentists are skilled in the fabrication of appliances that can treat obstructive sleep apnea. These appliances work very well when treating patients that have been diagnosed with mild-moderate obstructive sleep apnea. The appliances can also be used to treat patients that cannot wear their CPAP.

Tagged with:
Jan 26

There is a perception amongst the general population that snoring is a harmless annoyance, and nothing else. However, this is the furthest thing from the truth. Everyone should know that Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea are very common medical problems that should not be overlooked. Snoring is usually a tell tale sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a potentially deadly condition. One of the most common symptoms is feeling very sleepy during the day. If you or your loved one snores or is sleepy during the day, they should see a sleep physician for a proper diagnosis and treatment. You can also speak to your dentist about snoring and sleep apnea. Your dentist can help with your snoring and or sleep apnea by making an oral appliance for you. The oral appliances are very effective for the treatment of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea; it is also effective for those patients that cannot wear their CPAP.

Tagged with:
Jan 18

Recently a group out of the Universtity of Chicago reported, in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, that obstructive sleep apnea may adversely affect the body’s ability to control it’s sugar levels (glucose). This can lead to major problems with people that suffer from type 2, adult onset, diabetes.

Renee S. Aronsohn, MD, of the University of Chicago, said “for the first time that there is a clear, graded inverse relationship between [obstructive sleep apnea] severity and glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes.”

John Heffner, MD, past president of the American Thoracic Society, said in a recent news release that at least 80% people with type 2 diabetes also have obstructive sleep apnea.

This study is encouraging because obstructive sleep apnea is a treatable condition. Hence, if the obstructive sleep apnea is treated the person’s ability to control his/her blood sugar levels would most likely improve.

Tagged with:
Jan 17

In April 2006, the Institute of Medicine released a 461 page report entitled “Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem” (http://nap.edu). According to the paper, an estimated 50-70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders, with the estimated prevalence of OSAS being 4 to 7% of the U.S. The term used to describe excessive sleepiness is hypersomnolence. The statistics regarding the damage caused by this problem are astounding. $150 Billion annually is lost in decreased productivity and accidents. The medical costs from daytime hypersomnolence alone cost another $48 billion. The most shocking of all the statistics listed within the paper is that 20% of all serious car accidents involve daytime hypersomnolence. This statistic is independent of those accidents involving alcohol.

The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) established “Dentists Against Drowsy Driving” in November 2008. It’s goal is to increase awareness throughout the health professions and the public about the dangers associated with undiagnosed and untreated sleep-related breathing disorders. Dr Zach Hodgins, a dentist practicing in Winter Park, FL, is an expert in treating patients that have been diagnosed by their physicians with OSA. “The problem with sleep-related breathing disorders is that it is a problem that is rarely screened for by most physicians and dentists”, says Dr. Hodgins. Dr. Hodgins recommends that any patient with any signs of sleep apnea see their physician for a proper diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.

Tagged with:
Jan 15

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is holding their first ever national conference on sleep apnea and it’s effects on commercial truck drivers, on May 12 in Baltimore, MD.
Undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea is extremely dangerous. When you couple sleep apnea with the exhaustion that often accompanies driving a commericial truck, the results can be deadly. As a result of this, experts say that impending regulation that would require mandatory sleep apnea screening and treatment for truck drivers, much like drug testing, is in the works.

The American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) will host the conference in Baltimore this May. There will be presentations and discussions designed to assist the trucking industry with the problem at hand

Tagged with:
Jan 14

Driving a commercial truck is without a doubt one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. I read an article recently that called the occupation a “sweatshop on wheels”. The author noted that many truckers are forced to go from one job to another, often driving straight through the night with little to no sleep. When you couple that with the sedentary nature of the job, the result is usually a trucker that is overweight and fatigued. In a recent study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (March 2009), Philip Parks, MD, MPH said, “It is well-known that obesity, a leading risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea, is on the rise in the United States. Truck drivers with sleep apnea have up to a 7-fold increased risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash.”

Tagged with: