One area of dental practice you may not be aware of is Dental sleep medicine. Dental sleep medicine focuses on the use of oral therapy to treat sleep disorders like sleep apnea or snoring. Oral appliance therapy is the use of an oral appliance such as a mouth guard or retainer to treat for snoring or obstructive sleep apnea by preventing your airway from collapsing and holding your tongue and supporting your jaw. In these cases, dentists work together with sleep physicians to identify the best treatment for each patient. A dentist will custom fit you for an oral appliance so that it can be personalized to your needs.
Sleep Apnea Health Risks
A variety of health risks are associated with sleep apnea. They include:
Sudden cardiac death
High blood pressure
Loss of memory
Dental Sleep Medicine
Common sleep apnea symptoms:
Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation.
Lack of energy during the day.
Sleepiness during the day.
Forgetfulness, mood changes, and a decreased interest in sex.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
A diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea is essential before the beginning of any treatment. It will allow doctors to rule out any other medical conditions you may have associated with your symptoms. Your medical insurance will also decide on the payment of your treatment based on the diagnosis. First, we will do the sleep test and get the results. The sleep test will give a diagnosis on the severity of your OSA condition, whether you have obstructive Sleep Apnea, mild, moderate, or severe OSA.
Conservative treatment, such as losing weight if you are overweight, and adjusting your sleeping position, will be recommended for you if you are diagnosed with mild OSA. If you require more than palliative treatment, we can fabricate a sleep apnea mouthpiece. A custom-made oral appliance can stop snoring and paused breathing, improving your OSA condition, and perhaps can save your life from sleep apnea.
50% of people who get a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) device, one of the most common treatments for sleep apnea and snoring, stop using it within 12 months. Leaving your obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) untreated like this can increase your chance of stroke, heart attack, and heart failure. Untreated OSA can also take 20% off your life expectancy. Dr. Lee offers a solution for patients who become intolerant of the CPAP. A customized, FDA approved oral medical appliance will hold the jaw in a proper position during sleep. This can keep soft tissue from collapsing and blocking airflow, eliminating both snoring and OSA. Dr. Lee has had great results from the oral appliances she has prescribed, and she will be happy to talk with you about options that can help.
Qualified Dentists to Treat with Dental Sleep Medicine
Oral appliance therapy and dental sleep medicine should be provided by a qualified dentist who has correct certifications in dental sleep medicine. Training in how to provide oral appliance therapy is necessary to have the training or experience to provide optimal care for those with snoring or sleep apnea. The American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (ABDSM) certifies dentists who treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy. Dr. Lee has this special training in treating with dental sleep medicine.
Snoring, Sleep Disorders & Apnea
Snoring affects millions of people of all ages, both male and female. In severe cases, you may stop breathing for periods of time during sleep. This is called sleep apnea, and is a dangerous medical condition, usually diagnosed from a sleep study. There is a CORRELATION between SLEEP DISTURBANCES and GASTRIC REFLUX, ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER, OBESITY, and SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION. It also makes it more likely for you to have a HEART ATTACK or STROKE.
Oral appliances are the most common treatment for snoring, and one of three choices for sleep apnea. Dr. Grussenmeyer designed an intra-oral appliance about 3 decades ago which he customizes for each patient, depending upon their anatomy and specific problems. He called it the GOODNIGHT SLEEP APPLIANCE. Unlike the other branded appliances on the market, these sleep appliances are custom designed for each individual. They also protect and treat the TMJ, rather than causing TMJ problems as the others can do. Dr. Grussenmeyer can design this for you even if you have only a few or no teeth remaining. The hundreds of other sleep appliances cannot be used on edentulous people or those with a number of missing teeth. Always keeping to the K.I.S.S. principal, Doc G designs the GOODNIGHT SLEEP APPLIANCE to be pretty much indestructible for many years of use and money savings over other sleep appliances, which can be in multiple parts, some of them small removable hinges. The GOODNIGHT SLEEP APPLIANCE requires more skill in design and delivery than all of the other sleep type appliances, but so be it. Your health is of the utmost concern, not the ease of making and delivering an appliance.
GOODNIGHT SLEEP APPLIANCE-
Made for a sleep apnea/snoring patient with no upper teeth and only 6 lower teeth remaining
GOODNIGHT SLEEP APPLIANCE-
Made for a sleep apnea/snoring patient with many of her teeth still remaining
The GOODNIGHT SLEEP APPLIANCE kills a few birds with one stone so to speak: this one appliance positions the jaw for opening your airway, decompresses your TMJ to relieve the neurovascular tissues in the back of the joint, prevents bruxism, prevents muscle spasms from clenching, and improves cervical posture.
The three treatments for sleep apnea were intra-oral appliances, surgery, and CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines. The best way to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea is the intra-oral appliance. For severe sleep apnea, the CPAP machine is the best, however 50% of people cannot tolerate even the newer machines. So that 50% of the severe cases should also be treated with the intra-oral appliances vs. no treatment at all. Surgery, like removing part of the soft palate and uvula or scarring the soft palate to shrink it via radio cautery, has not been as successful due to the multiple factors involved in blockage of your airway, loss of elasticity of the palate from scarring, and food entering the nose from the pharynx area due to the attempted fix. Now there is NIGHTLASE laser treatment for snoring and sleep apnea. This is a holistic approach, directing your body to heal and reshape itself via non-cutting, non-drug, non-interuption of your life, electromagnetic spectrum energy. Please see the information about NIGHTLASE under the Laser Technology heading on the home page. As a stand alone treatment, or an adjunct to appliances or CPAP, results are significant and natural.
Snoring is caused by vibrations of your soft palate during mouth breathing. Mouth breathing occurs because of increasingly narrowed airway passages, caused by enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids, elongated soft palates and uvulas, hypertrophied turbinate bones in your nose, deviated septums, chronic allergies, chronic sinus problems, obesity, alcohol use, and poor tongue muscle tone.
What if I cannot or will not wear CPAP or intra-oral appliances?
If that is true for you, then NightLase laser treatment can help improve your situation. Please see "Nocturnalase for Snoring and Sleep Apnea" heading on our website for HOLISTIC SNORING an SLEEP APNEA TREATMENT.
Fotona Light Walker Laser
Airway Before NIGHTLASE
Airway after NIGHTLASE
Your choice for snoring problems alone is Nocturnalase laser treatment to shrink and firm the cricopharyngeal tissues via your own collagen or Dr. Lee GOODNIGHT SLEEP APPLIANCE. The Nightlase technique which Dr. Lee performs has proved to be very effective, either alone, or in tandem with intra-oral appliances and CPAP and BiPAP machines.
If you are looking for pain-free quality dental care in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, then look no further! Dr. Lee of Kingston Family Cosmetic Dental Center provides excellent services using the most advanced technology to give you the brightest smile!
Call us at (856) 795-9007 to learn more or book an appointment today!