It’s Time To Wake Up!
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a life-threatening sleep disorder that negatively impacts the health and quality of life of millions of Americans.
Snoring* Lack of Concentration* Daytime Fatigue* Morning Headaches* Obesity* High Blood Pressure* Large Neck Size* Interrupted Sleep* Sexual Dysfunction* Depression
Ask if you experience any of these symptoms or are concerned about your sleep and would like more information.
Call us today to schedule your FREE sleep apnea screening and receive more information on Watch-PAT and Oral Appliance Therapy
Fox Valley Dental offers Watch-PAT, an easy to use Sleep Apnea testing device that can be done in the comfort of your own home.
Treatment of Sleep Apnea and Snoring through the use of Oral Appliances
Dr. Robert Hering, a member of The American Academy of Dental Sleep
Medicine, works with referring physicians to evaluate and treat sleep
disordered breathing, such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, with
the use of oral appliances.
Why do people snore?
Snoring occurs because a narrowing of
the airway causes an increase in the speed air travels through the
airway and this causes vibration of the soft palate and uvula which
creates the snoring sound. Factors that affect snoring are larger soft
tissue in the airway, increased resistance in the airway and an increase
in the relaxation of these soft tissues.
What are the consequences of untreated snoring?
of the affected individual and bed partner can occur. This can lead to
daytime fatigue, drowsiness and marital discord.
What are some factors that affect snoring?
Sleeping on your back
Enlarged soft tissues in the throat
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a
condition where the soft tissues in the throat completely close off the
airway so that air cannot flow to the lungs. This can lead to a decrease
in oxygen in the blood which the brain senses and alerts the muscles of
the airway to tighten up and unblock the airway. As the breathing
process begins again, a disruption of sleep occurs that can lead to a
decrease in the body reaching the deep stages of sleep. This sleep
disruption causes daytime sleepiness and fatigue that can have serious
consequences on an individual's quality of life.
How is Obstructive Sleep Apnea diagnosed?
An overnight sleep study called a polysomnogram (PSG) is used to
confirm a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea. A PSG measures many body
functions during sleep: sleep position, sleep stages, blood oxygen
saturation, heart rate, snoring, apneas (decreased airflow by 80% and an
arousal from sleep) and hypopneas (decrease airflow by 30% and an
arousal from sleep). Patients are then given a diagnosis based on the
number of arousals per hour of apneas and hypopneas= AHI, the
Mild - 5-15 events per hour
Moderate- 15-30 events per hour
Severe- 30 events per hour or greater
Is Sleep Apnea a serious health risk?
Systemic health effects of
sleep apnea can be life threatening: cardiovascular disease from a lack
of oxygen in the blood, high blood pressure, stroke, depression/anxiety,
type 2 diabetes and a risk of motor vehicle accidents 3 times greater
than the normal population.
How does an Oral Appliance prevent Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Oral appliances are custom made acrylic devices that cover the upper
and lower teeth that position the lower jaw forward and open, which help
improve muscle tone and move the base of the tongue forward. This
improves the size of the airway, allowing air to pass with less
resistance. Oral appliances are approximately 85-90% effective in
preventing snoring and up to 70% effective in Obstructice Sleep Apnea
depending on the severity of the disorder.
What do I do next if I think I would benefit from an oral appliance?
What are the treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea?
A medical evaluation and diagnosis is important to treating all
illnesses, including sleep disordered breathing. A dentist is not
licensed to diagnose Snoring or Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It is paramount
to begin the process by evaluation with your primary care physician.
Some primary care physicians will evaluate the patient and order an
overnight sleep study and others will refer the patient to a
Pulmonologist for evaluation and treatment. Pulmonologists are board
certified in sleep medicine and are highly qualified to treat sleep
disordered breathing. Pulmonologists will work closely with an Ear, Nose
and Throat specialist to determine the appropriate course of treatment
because many patients may benefit from surgeries of the nose and throat
to treat obstructive sleep apnea.
1. Positional Therapy. Sleeping on one's side can significantly improve a person's sleep apnea or snoring.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). This device is the standard
of care in severe sleep apnea patients. It has a mask that fits tightly
over the nose and sometimes the mouth which is attached to an air
blower. This air blower administers an air pressure which prevents
collapse of the airway.
3. Oral Appliance Therapy. Discussed below.
The basic indications for sleep apnea appliances are to treat primary snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Oral appliance therapy is particularly appropriate for those patients who are CPAP intolerant.
Numerous appliances are available to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Research has shown that many appliances are quite effective and are considered an alternative when choosing a course of treatment. In fact, sleep appliances offer several advantages over other therapy choices. They are inexpensive, non-invasive, easy to fabricate, reversible, and well accepted by patients.
Also take time to visit the following websites for more information:
ACADEMY OF DENTAL SLEEP MEDICINE
SLEEP MEDICINE NETWORKDENTAL ORGANIZATION OF DENTAL SLEEP MEDICINE
DENTAL ORGANIZATION OF SLEEP APNEA
NATIONAL SLEEP FOUNDATION