Friday, December 28, 2012

Breathing Issues Related to Sleep Disorders May Affect 1 in 10 Children, Study Indicates

Breathing issues such as snoring and respiratory interruptions during sleep are most often associated with adults. But one recent study indicates that one in 10 children may suffer from breathing problems associated with sleep disorders, including obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland studied sleep disturbances among 512 children between the ages of 6 and 8. In addition to monitoring sleep disturbances, researchers reviewed children’s weight, craniofacial makeup and dental issues.

The findings of the study, which were published in the European Journal of Pediatrics, indicate that sleep disorders—such as sleep apnea—in children may not be linked with obesity, as it frequently is with adults. Rather, the study suggests that dental malocclusions such as crossbite can play a role in sleep-disordered respiration.

The message parents and physicians should draw from this research, according to the study’s authors, is that if children experience symptoms of sleep apnea or other sleep disorders, they should be examined for craniofacial issues or bite conditions. On the flip side, children with known craniofacial deformities or malocclusion should have the quality of their sleep evaluated.

The findings of the Finnish study echo figures provided by the American Academy of Otolaryngology, which state that breathing issues such as snoring occur in about 10 percent of all kids and that obstructive sleep apnea occurs in about 2 to 4 percent of children. In addition to causing daytime drowsiness, mood changes and difficulty focusing, OSA can contribute to an increased risk for severe health problems including heart disease, stroke and hypertension when not treated.

There are a number of dentists nationwide who specialize in the field of dental sleep medicine, which offers customized treatment for sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. If a child’s sleep disorder is the result of a bite condition, these dentists can also help restore a symmetrical bite through custom-made oral appliances or the use of orthodontics.

To locate a dentist near you who is qualified to treat sleep apnea, please contact

Morning Headaches? We Can Help!

Starting your day with a headache may affect your entire day.  Morning Headaches are usually easy to treat and address.  They are usually best treated without drugs.  The two most common causes of morning headaches are TMJ disorders and Sleep Apnea or Upper Airway resistance Syndrome.

Correction of the trigger that occurs in sleep can eliminate the morning headache or the one that occurs shortly after waking.  Frequently these same treatments can eliminate or minimize all headaches and migraines you experience.

This connection between sleep apnea, TMJ disorders and Headache has been examined by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute in their report "Cardiovascular and Sleep Consequences of Temporomandibular Disorders"

An oral appliance can help you mmaintain your ideal airway, eliminate snoring and sleep apnea and associated morning headaches.  Neuromuscular Dentistry is exceptional at eliminating headache and migraine problems for most patients who do not have sleep apnea.  Combination therapy can give miraculous results for many patients without the use of dangerous drugs.

Combination therapy with a night apnea appliance and a daytime Neuromuscular Orthotic may be the single best treatment for many patients who want to regain their quality of life.

Additional information on Neuromuscular Dentistry Can be found at and at Sleep and Health Journal @

My website also has excellent information on Neuromuscular Dentistry and Sleep Apnea

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Study Suggests Link between Vitamin D Deficiency, Daytime Drowsiness and Sleep Apnea

A recent study indicates a significant link between daytime drowsiness and low levels of vitamin D, and it also suggests that those with a vitamin D deficiency may be at an increased risk for developing sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

The study, which was led by a team with members from the Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Sciences Center and the LSU School of Medicine, focused on 81 participants who reported sleep problems and nonspecific pain. A majority of the patients were diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, and all of the patients were eventually diagnosed with some type of sleep disorder.

The findings of the study, which are published in the new issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, demonstrated that higher levels of daytime drowsiness directly correlated with lower levels of vitamin D. One unexpected, but not entirely surprising, result of the study was that it indicated the disparity between vitamin D levels and sleepiness was especially high among African-American participants; the study’s authors said this is logical, because increased skin pigmentation is a risk factor for vitamin D deficiency.

Like obstructive sleep apnea, a vitamin D deficiency can contribute to a heightened risk for cardiovascular disease and other health problems. Vitamin D is essential for, among other things, building and maintaining strong bones.

People can produce vitamin D naturally through exposure to sunlight, and vitamin D can also be ingested through certain foods such as fish and eggs, as well as foods and beverages fortified with vitamin D. Researchers involved in the LSU study said the relationship between a vitamin D deficiency, daytime sleepiness and sleep apnea needs deeper probing.

If you suffer from daytime drowsiness, chronic snoring or other symptoms of sleep apnea, a dentist who is experienced in the field of dental sleep medicine may be able to recommend a comfortable and effective treatment.

Please contact to locate a qualified sleep dentist near you.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Study Indicates Women with Sleep Apnea Suffer more Brain Damage than Men

A recent study from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) is an important reminder that women who snore regularly and/or have difficulty sleeping through the night should undergo an evaluation for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a common sleep disorder with potentially deadly risks.

Although snoring—the most common symptom of sleep apnea—is more strongly associated with men than women, and while men suffer OSA more frequently than women, research from UCLA shows that women with sleep apnea sustain more damage to their brain cells than men. Previous research has established that sleep apnea can result in brain cell damage, but the recent findings in the UCLA study indicate that women suffer more brain cell damage than men, particularly in the regions of the brain that help regulate moods and decision-making.

It is believed that more than 20 million Americans may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, and that many of those are either entirely undiagnosed or do not receive treatment. While sleep apnea can occur regardless of gender or age, the American College of Physicians estimates that between 4 and 9 percent of middle-aged men have OSA, and between 2 and 4 percent of middle-aged women suffer from OSA.

If not treated, obstructive sleep apnea can result in a heightened risk for severe health problems including:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiac arrhythmia

There are a number of sleep apnea treatments available through the field of dental sleep medicine. Many patients are able to restore restful sleep to themselves and their partners through the use of custom-made oral appliances.

If you or a loved one experiences loud, chronic snoring or other signs of sleep apnea such as extreme daytime drowsiness, please contact to locate a dentist near you with experience in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders including sleep apnea.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Snoring is sometimes merely a harmless if irritating (just ask your sleeping partner) habit, but it is often a symptom of the dangerous condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Loud, nightly snoring is the most common symptom of OSA, a potentially fatal sleep disorder characterized by episodes in which your breathing stops for upward of 10 seconds at a time multiple times per hour. If not treated, obstructive sleep apnea can increase your risk for a host of severe medical problems including hypertension, cardiac arrhythmia, heart attack and stroke.

There are a number of factors that affect whether you snore, but snoring itself is the result of an airway obstruction that forces your respirations through a narrowed passage, causing tissue in your mouth and throat to vibrate as you breathe in and out. Chronic snoring that is accompanied by a person waking up gasping and choking is a telltale symptom of sleep apnea.

Because people with OSA are often unaware that they snore or suffer interrupted sleep, it’s important to discuss snoring and sleep apnea with family members or other loved ones if they snore regularly. Although many people snore at least occasionally, snoring can also be a sign of a problem bigger than the annoyance of your sleeping partner and family.

If you believe you or a loved one may suffer from sleep apnea, please contact to locate a dentist near you who specializes in sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment.