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Posts Tagged ‘sleep apnea’

Why Shaquille O’Neal Went to Harvard

In Sleep Apnea on May 24, 2011 at 4:30 AM

“Sleep apnea, actually, is a pretty common condition which is most likely under-diagnosed and under-evaluated because many people don’t realize that they have it.”

It’s become such a huge health problem in America and has been linked to the “obesity epidemic, high rates of stroke, diabetes, cardiovascular or heart disease, and even mortality.”

Check out this quick video to hear more frightening news, and see why Shaq is attacking Sleep Apnea!

“Sleep apnea is a condition where a person is unable to get air into their lungs when they fall asleep.”

So those bouts of non-breathing – from snoring out loud to what sounds like no breathing – can not only lead to a poor night’s sleep and all the health maladies associated, it can kill us.

Image courtesy of the American Sleep Apnea Association

Some common Sleep Apnea symptoms:

  • Snoring
  • Frequent waking up at night feeling breathless
  • Irritability (from not getting a good night sleep)
  • High blood pressure

Some possible treatments for Sleep Apnea:

  • CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)
  • OSB® (Oral Systemic Balance Therapy)
  • Oral appliances
  • Weight Loss

To get more facts about sleep apnea from The American Sleep Apnea Association, click here. Be sure to check your snore score, or your significant others, while you’re there.

And don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist about any possible sleep apnea or snoring issues you may be experiencing – first-hand or not.

Sources:

Division of Sleep Medicine | Harvard Medical School Sleep & Health Education Program

American Sleep Apnea Association

Can a Child Really Develop Sleep Apnea?

In Sleep Apnea on February 3, 2011 at 4:30 AM

Not getting enough sleep is a problem most of us can identify with. Daily responsibilities, stress, sleeping habits, and even too much caffeine, all negatively impact how restful our nighttime slumber actually is.

But how about our kids?

We figure if they’re in bed on time and up and out on time, then all is well.

As information from research that began years ago begins to come into focus, we are learning how our twice yearly trip to the dentist can not only improve our smile, but it can actually improve our sleeping habits too.

At the recent Rocky Mountain Dental Convention, Dr. Dennis Bailey – a practicing dentist in Colorado dentist with over 25 years of experience in the use of oral appliances to manage snoring and sleep apnea – discussed how nighttime mouth-breathing is negatively impacting not only the quality of our children’s sleep, but also contributing to more serious developmental difficulties.

Nighttime mouth breathing stands as the most problematic, Dr. Bailey said, because it contributes to difficulties such as neurocognitive development, enuresis (bedwetting), poor academic performance, and alterations in craniofacial growth[1].

Dr. Bailey goes on the mention, “What you’re going to find out is that if you breathe through your mouth, all bets are off,” he told his audience. “Breathing during the day is not the same as it is at night. That goes for children, adolescents, adults, and infants. I cannot stress to you enough how deleterious and how damaging mouth breathing is.”

Why is it so dangerous? “Because the nose is the body’s carburetor,” Dr. Bailey said. “Every one of us in this world has brains that require more oxygen at night than they do during the day. If you don’t get that oxygen to the brain during the nighttime, what happens is that a host of neurochemicals are not being produced properly by the brain. It leads to depression, it leads to developmental problems, and it leads to things like ADHD [attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder].”

According to Dr. Bailey, here are some signs of sleep deprivation in our kids we can look for; reduced attention span, sleepiness, and even snoring. The doctor stresses parents to look for these signs, “Find out if that child or adolescent is a mouth breather at night, and if they are a mouth breather at night, start looking for causes, such as allergies, nasal airway obstructions, or enlarged tonsils.”

“Do they have headaches? Pain? Ear and throat infections? Is their growth and development not on par? Do they have narrow dental arches? High palettes? Malocclusions?” he said. “All of these things are foreboding signs that that child is at risk for a sleep breathing disorder because these are the outcomes that can occur.”

If you have any questions about treating sleep apnea, or how your child’s next dental visit can help improve their sleep – and overall health, be sure to ask your dentist before your next appointment.

A New Year’s Resolution for Dentists!

In Dental Care on January 20, 2011 at 4:00 AM

Gum disease and sleep apnea represent two health issues we need to know more about. It’s up to our doctors and dentists to give us this information, and educate us to the ongoing advancements in diagnosis and treatment. So what if we don’t know the hidden dangers of bleeding gums, or the difference between a CPAP and an iPod. The important thing is our doctors and dentists do; and after we tell them our gums bleed when we brush, or our significant other can no longer take the snoring, they know how to help us maintain optimal health. It’s their job. 

The common denominator here is US. We are the conduit to the dentist and family physician connection. It is important to communicate how we are feeling to both our primary care physicians and our dentists when we are on the examining table or in the dental chair.

And it is important to remember that the patient education and communication taking place between neighborhood medical & dental offices, and their surrounding communities, is something to take seriously…and maybe pay attention to once in a while. Spam and junk mail are annoying, but beneficial information from someone we trust is another story. After all, most of our resolutions include taking better care of ourselves in some way, shape, or form!

Check out this link for a New Year’s resolution you can sleep on: http://www.shiftworkdisorder.com/sleep-dentists-make-resolution-of-increased-sleep-apnea-awareness-in-2011-using-concerto-101723.html