Feb 28

Obese PicThe new year has begun and already the New Year’s Resolutions of losing weight and adopting a healthier lifestyle are beginning to fade. I can see it in the decrease in the amount of people that frequent my local healthclub. They started out with a bang, but are now starting to fizzle. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), obesity in adults has increased by 60% within the past twenty years and obesity in children has tripled in the past thirty years. An alarming 33% of American adults are obese and obesity-related deaths have climbed to more than 300,000 a year, second only to tobacco-related deaths. America is losing the battle of the buldge, and it is doing far more than just making us look unattractive.

Is America’s Obesity Epidemic Affecting our quality of sleep?

The answer would be a resounding YES! Of the many negative effects that obesity has on our health, none could be more damaging than our ability to get a good nights sleep. It is a fact that people that are overweight are prone to developing Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It is the accumulation of fat around the neck that poses the greatest threat to a patent airway. Excessive neck fat tends to cause the soft tissues around the airway to collapse, hence cutting off the flow of oxygen to the lungs and brain. Obstructive sleep apnea can kill, so it’s important to take steps to treat it.

Losing weight by adopting a healthy diet and exercise routine will most likely reduce the severity of sleep apnea in these people. Also, treatments such as CPAP, and oral dental appliances that move the lower jaw forward are critical in treating obstructive sleep apnea in the obese population.

Tagged with:
Feb 27

Sleep Apnea Keeping Wife AwakeWhat are the signs and symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

The symptoms of Obstructive sleep apnea include: Snoring, Witnessed Apnea, Excessive Daytime Sleepiness, Nocturnal Choking, Unrefreshed Sleep, Poor Sleep Quality, Insomnia, Morning Headaches, Impaired Concentration, Impaired Memory, Nocturia, Anxiety, Impotence, Depression, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.

The signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea include: Obesity, Increased Neck Circumference, Increased Waist Circumference, Retrognathia (, Maxillary (Upper Jaw) Constriction, Excessive Overjet of the teeth, Excessive Overbite of the teeth, Tonsilar Hypertrophy (enlarged tonsils), Macroglossia (enlargement of the tongue), Oropharyngeal narrowing, Nasal obstruction, High Blood Pressure.

If you have any of these signs or symptoms, speak to a sleep physician to diagnose and correct the potentially fatal condition that is Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Tagged with:
Feb 26

Sleep allows us to recover from the time we spend awake, and helps us to reenergize our bodies and minds for the day to come. Sleep provides biochemical refreshment, and allows key metabolic processes to take place. It is critical for our immune system, as it allows the immune system to reset itself. Sleep also plays a pivotal role in learning and memory consolidation, as well as the assimilation of new ideas and information. Getting the proper amount of sleep is critical as well. Studies have shown that getting too little or too much sleep can result in harmful systemic problems, such as cardiovascular disease, depression, obesity, and even cancer. A healthy adult should sleep for about 8 hours, while an infant may sleep up to twice that amount. Unfortunately for parents, this doesn’t mean 16 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Wouldn’t that be nice?

With the ever increasing demands that modern society places upon us each day, it is even more important than ever to be aware of your sleep quality. There are a host of sleep disorders that are present throughout the world’s population. If you are not sleeping 8 hours per night, or you’re feeling tired during the day, consult with a sleep physician. A polysomnogram, otherwise know as a sleep study that is performed in a sleep laboratory, would be an excellent way to evaluate the quality of your sleep. If a problem is found and you are diagnosed with a form of obstructive sleep apnea, treatments such as CPAP or an oral dental appliance, made by a dentist trained to treat sleep apnea, can be very effective.

Tagged with:
Feb 16

This was a google review submitted by a patient of Dr. Zach Hodgins. He was treated with an oral appliance to treat his obstructive sleep apnea. He was unable to wear a CPAP because it was uncomfortable. Now he’s sleeping better and preventing further health problems by breathing easily throughout the night.

CPAP Alternative…SomnoDent Mouthguard……‎
By Michael – Dec 21, 2009
Many thanks to Dr. Hodgins for offering his patients this amazing technology. In just weeks it has changed my life for the better! Everyday I wake up after a great night of sleep feeling more refreshed and recharged than I have in the last 20 years. It’s Quick, Simple, & Effective….and small enough to travel unnoticed! Michael Parkman – Orlando‎

Tagged with:
Feb 09

CPAPContinuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is a device that is used to treat obstructive sleep apnea. It is basically an adjustable air pressure device that delivers air through a tube that is connnected to a mask that covers the nose and mouth. It is a bedside device that can usually be easily transported. When in operation, pressurized air is forced into the airway and through any soft tissue obstruction, providing fresh oxygen to the lungs and enhancing the patients abililty to sleep soundly. CPAP is the gold standard for treating obstructive sleep apnea. However, many people that have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea cannot tolerate a CPAP . Sometimes those people that cannot tolerate the CPAP are the patient’s bedmates. This is usually due to the noise that is produced from the CPAP. An alternative to CPAP that is extremely effective is an oral appliance made by a dentist. Check with your sleep physician or your dentist to see if you would be a candidate for an oral appliance.

Tagged with:
Feb 04

brain-763982-11[1]On Friday February 1, 2010 the American Academy of Sleep Medicine sent out a news release that outlined new research that shows that people who suffer from severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) have decreased concentrations of gray matter throughout the brain.

Gray matter is found in the brain’s cerebral cortex. This area of the brain is responsible for processing information, memory formation and many other crucial brain activities.

Dr. Seung Bong Hong, a professor of neurology at the Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, said in the news release that “Poor sleep quality and progressive brain damage induced by OSA could be responsible for poor memory, emotional problems, decreased cognitive functioning and increased cardiovascular disturbances.” He went on to say that “The use of continuous positive airway pressure therapy could stop further progression of brain damage in patients with severe OSA.”

This study illustrates how serious obstructive sleep apnea is, and how proper diagnosis and treatment is vitally important. CPAP is the gold standard for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. A dental appliance that repositions the jaw in a more forward position can also be very effective. Oral appliances are most effective in the treatment of mild to moderate sleep apnea, and people that cannot wear their CPAP.

Reference: American Academy of Sleep Medicine, news release, Feb. 1, 2010

Tagged with:
Feb 03

Wall Street Journal logoThe Wall Street Journal just published this fantastic article entitle “The New Face of Sleep”. It’s all about the dangers of sleep apnea . The author does a wonderful job of defining sleep apnea and the various types of treatments that are available to patients. The author also discusses the fact that obstructive sleep apnea is a treatable condition that is grossly ignored, even after being prescribed the proper treatment from their sleep physician or dentist. Treatments like CPAP and oral appliances made by a dentist are extremely effective. I hope that this article will help to enlighten people about the risks of sleep apnea.

Tagged with:
Feb 01

How does an oral appliance treat obstructive sleep apnea? After being diagnosed with sleep apnea by a sleep physician, a very effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is an oral appliance. Dentists trained in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea can create custom oral appliances that are very effective in the treatment of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, and for those patients that are CPAP intolerant. The oral appliances reposition the tongue and lower jaw (mandible) in a more forward postion during sleep. These appliances are called Mandibluar Anterior Repositioning Splints (MAS). This opens the airway and minimizes, or eliminates, the soft tissue obstruction that is the cause of the person’s apnea. Follow up sleep studies are critical for the proper adjustment of the oral appliances, and to prove the effectiveness of the treatment. Patients are often amazed at the restful nights sleep that they have after being they’ve been fitted with their dental appliance. Dr. Zach Hodgins, a dentist in Orlando, FL, is trained in treating patients that suffer from sleep apnea. His office offers the Somnodent dental appiance for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.

Tagged with: