The Center for Disease Control estimates that more than 12 million Americans are suffocating in their sleep due to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Most cases remain undiagnosed and contribute to diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, and traffic accidents caused by drowsy driving.
Dentistry serves a vital role in treating this under-diagnosed epidemic. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral appliances as a first line therapy for the treatment of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea and for patients with severe sleep apnea whose CPAP treatment has failed.
Aesthetic Dental of Jupiter & Oral Appliance Therapy
Dr. Charles Braverman is pleased to introduce an oral sleep apnea appliance to his patients. Oral appliance therapy is the least invasive treatment and the first choice of treatment for mild to moderate OSA. It involves the selection, fitting, and use of an appliance to hold the jaw forward and maintain an open airway in the throat during sleep.
Are you one of 7?
Did you know approximately one in every seven adults experiences sleep-disordered breathing (SDB)?
Sleep-disordered breathing is characterized by numerous, brief (10 second or so) interruptions of breathing during sleep. These interruptions, which usually occur when relaxation of the upper airway muscles decreases airflow, lower the level of oxygen in the blood and, as a result, affected individuals are frequently aroused from deep sleep as they struggle to breathe.
Symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing include loud snoring and daytime sleepiness. The most common form is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
What can happen if your Sleep Apnea goes untreated?
Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical condition. Left untreated, complications may include:
- High blood pressure (hypertension). Sleep apnea is not uncommon in people with hypertension.
- Cardiovascular problems. Sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that occur during sleep apnea increase blood pressure and strain the cardiovascular system. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, your risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) can be up to two to three times greater than if you don’t. The more severe your sleep apnea, the greater the risk of high blood pressure.
- Stroke. Obstructive sleep apnea also increases the risk of stroke, regardless of whether you have high blood pressure. People with sleep apnea are three times more likely to suffer a stroke or die, compared to people in a similar state of health but without sleep apnea.
- Daytime fatigue. The repeated awakenings associated with sleep apnea make normal, restorative sleep impossible. People with sleep apnea often experience severe daytime drowsiness, fatigue and irritability. You may have difficulty concentrating and find yourself falling asleep at work, while watching TV or even when driving. You may also feel irritable, moody or depressed. Children and adolescents with sleep apnea may do poorly in school or have behavior problems.
- Traffic accidents. Studies have shown that patients with OSA perform poorly on driving simulation tests and have an accident rate 2-7 times as high as people without OSA.4
- Sleep-deprived partners. Loud snoring can keep those around you from getting good rest and eventually disrupt your relationships. It’s not uncommon for a partner to go to another room, or even on another floor of the house, to be able to sleep. Many bed partners of people who snore are sleep deprived as well.
- Memory problems, depression and other complications. People with sleep apnea may also complain of memory problems, morning headaches, mood swings or feelings of depression, a need to urinate frequently at night (nocturia), and impotence. Gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD) may be more prevalent in people with sleep apnea. Children with untreated sleep apnea may be hyperactive and may be diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Complications with medications and surgery. Obstructive sleep apnea is also a concern with certain medications and general anesthesia. People with sleep apnea may be more likely to experience complications following major surgery because they’re prone to breathing problems, especially when sedated and lying on their backs. Before you have surgery, tell your doctor that you have sleep apnea. Undiagnosed sleep apnea is especially risky in this situation.
- Type II Diabetes. Recent reports have indicated that the majority of patients with type 2 diabetes also have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Data suggests that OSA is also independently associated with alterations in glucose metabolism and places patients at an increased risk of the development of type 2 diabetes.
- Other disorders and syndromes. Hypothyroidism, acromegaly, amyloidosis, vocal cord paralysis, post-polio syndrome, neuromuscular disorders, Marfan’s syndrome, and Down Syndrome.
- Other physical conditions. Conditions such as immune system abnormalities, severe heartburn or acid reflux and high blood pressure. It isn’t clear whether the conditions are the cause or the result of sleep apnea.
Call Dr. Braverman @ 561.575.5599 to learn more about how Oral Appliance Therapy can help you get a good night’s sleep.