Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Snoring May be a Dangerous Component of Sleep Apnea as well as a Symptom

Snoring has long been recognized as the most common symptom of the dangerous condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), but a recent study indicates that snoring can also cause changes to the carotid artery that may contribute to an increased risk for a number of heart problems.

OSA has also been linked to a heightened risk for vascular conditions, but the findings of a study conducted at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit suggest that snoring can cause dangerous changes in the carotid artery among those who do not have sleep apnea. Researchers believe that the trauma and inflammation caused by regular snoring can thicken the linings of the blood vessels responsible for supplying the brain with oxygenated blood.

Researchers reviewed data for more than 900 patients evaluated by the Henry Ford Hospital sleep center. Patients were between the ages of 18 and 50, and participated in sleep studies between December 2006 and January 2012.

Researchers compared snoring habits among participants and found that those who snored had significantly more substantial thickness of the carotid arteries. Incidentally, none of the participants was diagnosed with sleep apnea.

The study’s authors believe that the risk for cardiovascular disease associated with OSA may actually stem at least in part from snoring itself. Fortunately, there are a number of treatments available for those who snore, including those who also suffer from sleep apnea.

A dentist with experience in the field of dental sleep medicine can evaluate your condition and recommend a custom treatment option designed to treat the source of your snoring and/or sleep apnea and help you—and your partner—restore restful sleep.

If you or a loved one snores regularly, please contact IHateCPAP.com to locate a qualified sleep dentist near you.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Children, Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

As awareness of the dangers of sleep apnea grows, an increasing number of parents have become concerned about whether their children may suffer from sleep apnea or another sleep disorder.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common and dangerous type of sleep apnea, has long been linked to severe health problems such as an increased risk for heart disease, hypertension and stroke. OSA can also cause daytime drowsiness, difficulty focusing and mood changes. Mounting evidence suggests a link between sleep apnea and attention-deficit disorder in children.

As with adults, one of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea in children is regular snoring. While many children snore at least occasionally, loud, chronic snoring is often an indicator of sleep apnea; disruptive snoring may also be the result of other conditions such as obesity, allergies, or enlarged tonsils and adenoids.

If not treated, sleep apnea can lead to behavioral problems, impaired learning and anxiety, among other issues. The good news is that there are a number of sleep apnea treatment options available.

A dentist with experience in the field of dental sleep medicine can help determine the source of you or your child’s sleep apnea and recommend a custom treatment for your unique needs. In many cases, the use of an oral appliance similar to a sports mouthguard can effectively and comfortably treat the cause of sleep apnea and help restore restful sleep.

If you or a loved one suffers from routine snoring or other symptoms of sleep apnea, please contact IHateCPAP.com to locate a qualified sleep dentist near you.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Treating Teeth Grinding and Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliances

Oral appliances custom-made by dentists with experience in the field of dental sleep medicine can actually benefit people who suffer from two common disorders that may share a link: bruxism (teeth grinding) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Bruxism is characterized by the grinding, clenching or gnashing of teeth, typically during sleep. Although bruxism can lead to severe dental problems, as well as jaw and facial pain, many people are unaware they suffer from this condition.

Likewise sleep apnea, which is most commonly associated with loud, chronic snoring, but also results in symptoms including daytime fatigue, morning headaches and difficulty focusing. If not treated, obstructive sleep apnea can contribute to a heightened risk for health problems including hypertension, heart attack and stroke.

The results of a 2009 study included demonstrating a high rate of bruxism in patients diagnosed with OSAA; the prevalence was especially high among men and Caucasians compared with other groups. Other research has demonstrated similar association between bruxism and sleep apnea.

If you, your partner or your child experiences bruxism, it’s advisable to undergo an exam by a physician with experience in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders. Often, a custom-made oral appliance similar to a sports mouthguard can provide comfortable and effective treatment for both teeth grinding and sleep apnea.

If you have questions about sleep disorder assessment and treatment or would like to find a doctor near you, please contact IHateCPAP.com.