Friday, February 22, 2013

Sleep Apnea and the Risk for Heart Problems

February is American Heart Month, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other organizations have been highlighting the risks of heart disease and offering tips for better heart health. One key area of focus related to cardiovascular health is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Among the many dangers of sleep apnea are heightened risks for:

  • Heart attack
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Hypertension
  • Stroke

Likewise, people with sleep apnea or heart conditions often share risk factors including:

  • Being overweight
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having diabetes

Although it is estimated that more than 20 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, many people with sleep apnea are not aware they have a form of this potentially deadly condition. Many sleep apnea symptoms, such as chronic snoring or frequent sleep interruptions, go unnoticed or ignored by those suffering from OSA.

Often, it is up to a partner or other family member to encourage a loved one to seek diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea. Fortunately, there are an increasing number of dentists who specialize in the field of dental sleep medicine and a growing number of treatments.

Many instances of sleep apnea can be treated with custom-made oral appliances similar to sports mouthguards. These devices are designed to help keep your jaw in proper alignment as you sleep in order to help you maintain an open airway.

If you would like to learn more about sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment, please contact to locate a qualified sleep dentist in your area.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Help for People (and their Families) Suffering from Sleep Apnea

You’ve read about the dangers of sleep apnea.

You know about chronic snoring and other sleep apnea symptoms.

What many people don’t know is where to turn for help when it comes to diagnosing and treating sleep apnea. That’s why I Hate CPAP is here.

I Hate CPAP is a network of dentists from the United States and Canada who have experience in the field of dental sleep medicine. Our experienced dentists are dedicated to helping those who suffer from sleep apnea—and their family members—restore restful, healthy sleep.

If you’re seeking help for yourself or a loved one, please use our convenient Find a Doctor feature to locate a qualified sleep dentist near you. If not treated, sleep apnea can contribute to a heightened risk for heart attack, stroke, hypertension and other severe medical problems.

Today, there are a number of safe, effective and comfortable treatment options for sleep apnea. While continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices have long been the standard for sleep apnea treatment, newer remedies including oral appliances similar to mouthguards are also available. Your knowledgeable sleep dentist can assess the source of your sleep apnea and recommend the best treatment for your unique needs.

If you or a family member suffers from regular snoring or other sleep apnea symptoms, please contact for additional information and to find an experienced sleep dentist in your area.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Understanding the Risks of Sleep Apnea, Sleep-Disordered Breathing in Children

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and the interrupted breathing associated with other sleep disorders can contribute to a number of problems in children, from difficulty focusing in school to behavioral changes to an increased risk for health conditions including hypertension.

Although scientists and physicians are still developing an understanding of sleep apnea causes and effects in children, a recent Finnish study shed some light on the prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing in children as well as risk factors that may contribute to the development of OSA and other sleep disorders.

Researchers in Finland analyzed sleep-disordered breathing in 491 boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 8. Their findings were published in the December 2012 issue of the European Journal of Pediatrics and include:

  • Nearly 10 percent of the children experienced sleep-disordered breathing; the rate was the same for both boys and girls
  • Approximately 11 percent of the boys and nearly 16 percent of the girls were overweight, although body fat was not associated with an increased risk for sleep-disordered breathing in the study
  • Children with enlarged tonsils were nearly 4 times more likely to suffer from sleep-disordered breathing
  • Children with the malocclusion crossbite were more than 3 times more likely to experience sleep-disordered breathing

You should consider a consultation with a dentist who has experience in the field of dental sleep medicine if your child exhibits the following symptoms:

  • Snores regularly
  • Breathes through his or her mouth when sleeping
  • Periodically stops breathing during sleep
  • Wakes up choking or gasping for air
  • Experiences chronic daytime drowsiness

Most children with sleep apnea and other sleep disorders experience multiple symptoms, and those symptoms will vary based on a number of individual factors. For more information about signs that your child may have OSA or another sleep disorder, please see our Sleep Apnea Symptoms page.

Fortunately, there are a number of comfortable and effective sleep apnea treatments available for children and adults. Many patients are able to restore restful sleep with the use of custom-made oral appliances. Your sleep dentist can help you determine the best treatment for your unique needs.

If your child snores or suffers from other symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing, please contact to locate a qualified sleep dentist near you.