Why You Might Not Be Getting High-Quality Sleep and What You Can Do
Oct 30, 2019 01:19PM
By Amparo David
by Natural Awakenings staff
Stop Sleep Apnea and Snoring
Dr. Amparo David’s journey to found the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of New England was driven by her desire to improve the quality of life for her own family and for her patients. After her residency at the Tufts School of Dental Medicine, she further focused her training by completing several residencies in dental sleep medicine and sleep apnea through the American Academy of Sleep Medicine; the American Orthodontics Society; TMJ & Sleep Therapy International; and the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain.
Treating snoring and sleep apnea requires a team approach. Dentists are the perfect practitioner to recognize oral symptoms and signs common to sleep apnea sufferers. Dentists—by the limits of licensure—cannot make a diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). For this, individuals need to visit a physician.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common sleep apnea diagnosis. This disorder is caused when the soft tissue on the back of the throat relaxes during sleep and blocks the airway. As airflow stops, this is called an apnea, the blood oxygen levels drop, causing the brain to kick start the breathing process, which is accompanied by gasping or choking.
This affects how an individual feels when they wake up and can lead to chronic health conditions. It can even be fatal if the case is severe and left untreated. Untreated for years, research shows that sleep apnea patients may lose 20 to 50 percent of their lifespan.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is used by many sleep apnea sufferers, but for some, the masks can be cumbersome and not all patients respond to the therapy. Once a patient has been diagnosed with a sleep apnea condition by a physician, oral appliance therapy is often a nonsurgical option for treatment. Oral appliances are recommended in mild and moderate cases of sleep apnea, and in severe cases if patients are unable to tolerate CPAP.
Oral appliances require specific design, fabrication and customized fittings to meet individual patient's needs for proper forward repositioning of the lower jaw and tongue in order to improve the opening of the upper airway during sleep for successful treatment results.
What is Snoring?
Snoring is the fluttering sound created by the vibration of tissues in the back of the throat and nose. Vibrating tissues can include nasal airway, soft palate, uvula, tonsils and adenoids. In 80 percent of cases, the soft palate is the primary contributor to the problem.
At the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of New England, advanced technology and specialized equipment are utilized to measure the airway, predict improvement, determine appliance design and monitor success and efficacy of the oral appliance.
Symptoms and Health Problems Related to Sleep Breathing Problems:
Symptoms you or your sleep partner may identify:
Choking or gasping for air during sleep
Chronic loud snoring
Difficulty getting to sleep
Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking
Episodes of stopping to breathe
Excessive daytime sleepiness
Feeling unrefreshed in the morning
Some of the most serious health problems related to sleep breathing problems are:
Cardiac arrhythmia (irregular pulse)
Excessive daytime sleepiness
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Heart attack (myocardial infarction)
High Blood Pressure
Ischemic Heart Disease
Learning and memory problems
To learn more and schedule a consultation with Dr. Amparo David, call 978-779-0865 or visit TMJSleepMa.com.