Do you feel tired, even after a full night's rest?
Do you have morning headaches?
Have you been told that you snore loudly?
Do you have difficulty concentrating?
Do you wake up during the night choking or gasping for air?
Every night, millions of people go to sleep hoping to wake in the morning feeling rested and relaxed. However, for people with sleep-disordered breathing problems, this is just not possible. If you suffer from non-restful sleep, you're not alone! More than 40 million Americans suffer from some variety of sleep disorder - many of which go undiagnosed. However, due to ongoing research and advances in dental sleep medicine, there is much that can be done today to provide you with treatment options that will help you find relief! Is your bed partner's snoring keeping you awake at night?
A SPECIAL NOTE TO SNORERS AND THOSE WHO LOVE THEM.
Snoring doesn't always equal obstructive sleep apnea, although most people with the disorder do snore. However, while one is annoying, the other can be life threatening, so it's important to find out for sure.
If you or someone you love snores loudly, or appears to stop breathing for short periods and then abruptly starts again, we strongly recommend that you make an appointment for a dental sleep examination.
In addition to studying your health history, we will perform a full evaluation of the soft tissues in your mouth, throat, neck and nose to determine the degree of laxity in those tissues and find out how they may be obstructing your breathing while you sleep.
Even if your condition is identified as 'simple snoring,' we offer therapies that can resolve it. That's great news for you and your bed partner, too!
When the muscles of the jaws, soft palate and the tongue become too relaxed during sleep, they can sag and partially or completely block your airway. As you struggle to breathe, your body becomes distressed and you become partially awake, nearly every time this event occurs. These episodes can occur hundreds of times each night, keeping you from reaching the deep, restorative sleep your body requires and putting a great deal of stress on your heart. Since this can have serious consequences, we urge anyone who is concerned about the quality of their sleep to contact their physician or a dental professional with advanced training in dental sleep medicine.
What Should a Dental Sleep Exam Include?
At a minimum, your dental sleep exam should include:
- A dentist certified in dental sleep medicine!
- Medical History
- Dental History
- Personal & Family History
- Physical Evaluation plus a Pharyngometer/Rhinometer Test to evaluate your airway
In addition to studying your medical and dental histories, we will examine the soft tissues in your mouth, throat, neck and nose. The purpose of this clinical evaluation is to:
- Determine the degree of laxity in those tissues; and,
- Find out how they may be obstructing your breathing while you sleep.
Since sleep-disordered breathing can also occur as a result of improper alignment of the jaw and structures within the mouth, we also examine the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) as an important part of every sleep patient evaluation. Depending on the complexity and severity of your sleep concern, we may also recommend that you seek a referral to an overnight sleep lab for a diagnostic polysomnogram (i.e., a sleep study) in order to confirm your diagnosis. If that should be necessary, we will assist you in the process by providing you with names of sleep physicians and sleep labs that we work with regularly.
Who Will Benefit?
Anyone who suffers from non-restful sleep will benefit from a thorough exam and, if indicated, treatment by a dentist with advanced training in dental sleep medicine. Today, 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders according to Carl E. Hunt, director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research. Sleep disorders are most common in middle-aged men and, in particular, those who are overweight. However, women and children can suffer from sleep-disordered breathing, too.
Early Diagnosis is Key.
If sleep disorders go undiagnosed and untreated, their effects on health can be far more serious than simply feeling tired and irritable. For example, patients with untreated obstructive sleep apnea are at:
- 2x the risk of developing high blood pressure;
- 3x the risk of heart attack; and,
- 4x the risk of stroke.