Oct 25

Sleeping and breathing disorders, i.e. sleep apnea, snoring, etc., are not only dangerous for your overall health, but they can also destroy your marriage. According to the 2005 National Sleep Foundation survey, 23% of couples that have a partner that snores sleep in separate beds, bedrooms, or on the couch, another 8% have altered their sleep schedules to account for their snoring partner, 7% wear earplugs to drown out the noise from snoring, 38% say that snoring is causing a problem with their relationship, and 27% said that it is affecting their intimate relationships.

So as you can see from this study, it’s critical for your relationship and your health to stop snoring. Many times snoring can be a sign of a far more dangerous health problem, namely obstructive sleep apnea. If you snore it is important to see your physician for a consultation and most likely a sleep study in a sleep laboratory, also called a polysomnogram (PSG).

Whether it is snoring or obstructive sleep apnea as a diagnosis, patients that snore can be helped by either by wearing a CPAP, or by using an oral appliance made by a dentist. The oral appliance, also called a mandibular advancement splint, moves the lower jaw forward eliminating the soft tissue obstruction of the airway, and hence the snoring is also silenced.

Dr. Zach Hodgins of the Dentist’s Studio in Winter Park,FL, offers help to those that snore and those that have obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Hodgins can be reached for consultation at 407.647.1744 or www.dentiststudio.com

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Oct 18

A Tongue Retaining Device is yet another type of dental sleep apnea appliance that is used to treat patients that suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Since the main culprit in obstructive sleep apnea is a large tongue falling into the back of the mouth and obstructing the airway, a Tongue Retaining Device is an excellent choice to resolve the airway obstruction. The “TRD” is made from a flexible rubberized material that adapts to the contours of the teeth and dental arches. Unlike almost all of the other dental sleep mouthpieces that are used to treat obstructive sleep apnea, the tongue retaining device does not depend on teeth for retention. Instead, the tongue is held fin a more forward position by the suction that is created within the vacuum bulb in the front of the appliance.

For many patients this is a viable option to help with their sleep apnea problem, however it really comes down to personal preference. Dr. Zach Hodgins, a dentist in Orlando, FL that treats patients that have obstructive sleep apnea and patients that have a CPAP and cannot wear it. If you or your loved one suffers from this deadly condition, consult with your physician or a dentist that has been trained in dental sleep medicine. Dr. Zach Hodgins office works closely with local sleep physicians, pulmonologists, and neurologists to help patients with their sleeping and breathing disorders. Dr. Zach Hodgins is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Dr Hodgins is also an active member of the I Hate CPAP campaign. I Hate CPAP is a nationwide campaign that helps promote sleeping and breathing disorder awareness and encourages treatment by a qualified healthcare professional. Dr. Hodgins practice is located on the border of Orlando, in Winter Park, FL; he is available for consultation at 407.647.1744. His websites www.DentistStudio.com , http://www.orlando.ihatecpap.com , and www.StopSleepApnea.info are fantastic sources of information on sleep apnea and the treatments that are available.

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Mar 13

How is Obstructive Sleep Apnea diagnosed and treated with a mouthpiece?

Sleep Studies Comments Off on How is Obstructive Sleep Apnea diagnosed and treated with a mouthpiece?

How is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) diagnosed?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a serious medical condition. It is a condition that is characterized by a person’s inability to breath when sleeping. This is due to a person’s airway being obstructed, usually by the base of the tongue or by the excessive soft tissue of the throat. Obstructive sleep apnea varies in severity, but is considered dangerous at any level. It must be diagnosed by a physician. Diagnosis is based on the results of an overnight sleep study, called a Polysomnogram (PSG). A PSG is usually carried out in a sleep center. Today the sleep centers resemble a nice hotel. These centers are readily available throughout the United States. When undergoing the PSG, or sleep study, several factors are being evaluated. These include: the level of oxygen in the blood, blood pressure, pulse rate, snoring sound levels, body positioning, and the stages of sleep. Once a proper diagnosis has been made the sleep physician will make a recommendation for the appropriate treatment. These treatments may include the use of a CPAP, or a sleep apnea mouthpiece that is made by a qualified dentist. The sleep apnea mouthpiece may be used for people that suffer from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. A dental sleep apnea mouthpiece can also be used for those patients that can’t wear a CPAP for whatever reason. The dental sleep apnea mouth piece holds the lower jaw in a more forward position. This helps to open the airway and allows the patient to breath easier. A CPAP is the gold standard for patients that have obstructive sleep apnea, especially for those patients that suffer from severe obstructive sleep apnea. However, many patients cannot tolerate the use of a CPAP. These reasons vary from the noise that the mask makes as air leaks from around the mask, to the feeling of being confined and claustrophobic. Many patients also report that the CPAP makes it difficult for their partner to sleep in the same room. Nevertheless, I still recommend that my patients follow their physicians instructions, and at least try their very best to use their CPAP. If they still cannot tolerate it, then I will make them a sleep apnea mouthpiece.

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Mar 05

Dr Zach Hodgins will attend the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine’s Annual Conference held on June 4th – 6th 2010 in San Antonio, Texas. Topics covered during the educational session will include:

The Effect of Mouthpiece Use During Exercise on Cortisol, Lactate and Airway Openings
Speaker: Dena Garner, PhD,

Combination Therapy: When Oral Appliances meet CPAP
Speaker: Ronald Prehn, DDS

Marketing the Dental Sleep Medicine Practice: Aa New Direction for 2010 and Beyond
Speaker: Laurence Barsh, DMD

Clinical Management of Oral Appliance Therapy: Titration, Teeth and the TMJ
Speaker: James Metz, DDS

Improvements in Neurocognitive Function and Heart Rate Variability with Oral Appliance Therapy
Speaker: Djordje Popovik, MD, PhD

Treating Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea with CPAP vs Oral Appliances: A Literature Review
Speaker: Jonathan Parker, DDS

Measuring Sleep: Using Monitors and Iimaging in the Dental Sleep Medicine Practice
Speaker: John Remmers, MD

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Mar 03

In my dental practice, I treat patients that suffer from snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. These conditions are treated in my office in Winter Park, FL by using a dental sleep apnea appliance. During every new patient examination, I screen my patients for these conditions. This involves asking questions regarding the quality of their sleep, examining their airway, and observing physical characteristics such as neck size and the weight of the patient. It’s always amazing to me that the most common comment that I hear is, “You know what? No one has ever asked me these questions, especially a dentist.” I think that sleeping and breathing disorders are being widely overlooked by the medical profession as a whole, and that a serious effort to screen and treat patients that suffer from snoring and obstructive sleep apnea needs to be put forth. At the very least, dentists and physicians should ask their patients if they snore, and if they don’t know, ask their spouse. It is such an easy thing to do, and this can have such a tremendous effect on the lives of so many people.

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Mar 01

We recently had a family member from out of town visit us here in Winter Park, FL this past week. Winter Park is located right outside of Orlando, FL. As always, it was so good to see him and catch up with what’s new in his life. As the week went on, I noticed that whenever we were watching TV and relaxing, that he would fall asleep while seated. He would snore, and even visibly stop breathing for long periods of time. When he would sleep at night i could hear him snore very loudly as well. The next day I spoke to him about my observations and mentioned that he was exhibited quite a few signs and symptoms of having obstructive sleep apnea. I mentioned to him that his neck was greater than 17 inches in diameter, he was overweight, he snored, and that he stopped breathing on several occasions that I witnessed. He has excessive daytime sleepiness as well. I told him that obstructive sleep apnea can kill you. It raises the chance of having a heart attack by 6 times that of healthy person. The same goes for having a stroke. You are 6 times more likely to have a stroke if you have obstructive sleep apnea. So, I recommended that he have a sleep study done. I have a Watch Pat 200, which is a home sleep monitor that is approved by the FDA. It measures total sleep time, pulse rate, body position, snoring volume, time in each phase of sleep, blood oxygen saturation, desaturation events, and calculates the 3 sleep indices. He took the test that night, and I uploaded his results to a sleep physician’s site for the sleep doctor to read the study and diagnose his condition. It turned out that he has severe obstructive sleep apnea. He stopped breathing 271 TIMES during one nights sleep!!! Can you imagine holding your breath 271 times in one night and getting a good nights sleep? No wonder he was falling asleep so often during the day. He was exhausted and didn’t even know it. This is so dangerous, and why automobile accidents that involve people that have sleep apnea are such a problem. Since he has severe obstructive sleep apnea, the sleep doctor recommended a CPAP to treat his apnea. He will give the CPAP a try, and if he can’t tolerate the CPAP, I can always make him a dental sleep apnea appliance here in Orlando, FL. I am strongly encouraging him to use the CPAP, as it is the best treatment for severe obstructive sleep apnea. I’m just so happy that he came to Winter Park, FL to visit, and that I was able to observe his problem. I’m sure that I saved his life! If you know someone that snores or stops breathing when they sleep, you owe it to them to educate them on the dangers of sleep apnea. They should see their physician to discuss this problem and come up with a solution for their sleep problem. You cold save the life of someone you love!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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