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Natural Awakenings Boston

Why You Might Not Be Getting High-Quality Sleep and What You Can Do

Oct 30, 2019 01:19PM

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 concentrating

Difficulty getting to sleep

Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking

Episodes of stopping to breathe

Excessive daytime sleepiness

Feeling unrefreshed in the morning

Morning headaches


Some of the most serious health problems related to sleep breathing problems are:

Cardiac arrhythmia (irregular pulse)
Depression

Diabetes

Excessive daytime sleepiness

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Heart attack (myocardial infarction)

Heart Failure

High Blood Pressure

Ischemic Heart Disease

Learning and memory problems

Obesity

Sexual dysfunction

Stroke


To learn more and schedule a consultation with Dr. Amparo David, call 978-779-0865 or visit TMJSleepMa.com.