Snoring: A Troublesome Problem

Although as many as half of all adults snore at least sometimes, snoring is not a normal habit. Sleep should be quiet with effortless breathing. Causes Snoring is frequently caused when a person’s airway is blocked. Tissues in the throat make the sound as air passes over them. This can lessen air flow and decrease oxygen. Dangers Often associated with snoring, sleep apnea is a health hazard that occurs when one a person breathing for a minimum of ten seconds at regular intervals while sleeping. Because sleep apnea causes a lack of oxygen and raised levels of carbon dioxide, it can lead to daytime drowsiness. Solutions For those who snore or have sleep apnea, there are solutions available to help them experience refreshing, beneficial sleep. Personalized treatment plans can help stop snoring or prevent sleep apnea, but before beginning, a person should first be evaluated for potential sleep... read more

Dental Sleep Medicine (DSM) Conference: Research Trends Emerge

The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) hosted the Academy’s 26th Annual Meeting on June 2nd through June 4th, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. The gathering, attended by more 1,200 professionals including both sleep medicine professionals and dentists, honored the winners of the 2017 AADSM Research Award. Guest speakers gave a number of interesting presentations on advances in oral appliances.   Research Trend 1: Predicting Oral Appliance Therapy Outcomes The University of Sydney’s Dr. Kate Sutherland, Ph.D. presented her abstract as the Academy’s keynote speaker. Dr. Sutherland’s research focuses on obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. Her goal is to help the sleep medicine community recognize the heterogeneity of the condition with an eye toward better recognizing and treating OSA in patients.   In her research, Dr. Sutherland has looked at the expressions of OSA, in particular obesity and certain features of the skull, that are risk factors for OSA. She uses imaging tools as well as clinically applicable surrogates. Her goal is to be able to identify those clinical features which will predict the individual patient’s outcome in using therapies other than continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), in particular oral appliances.   Other researchers have looked into sleep medicine’s ability to predict patient outcomes with oral appliance therapy. These researches include Maysaa Khojah, BDS, MS, who won an AADSM Clinical Research Award. Dr. Khojah’s results showed significant correlation between the patient’s facial anatomy and the patient’s outcome with regard to oral appliances.   Additional abstracts presented at the meeting looked at the correlations between oral appliance therapy outcomes and physical features that included the following:   Aerodynamics of the... read more

Best Practices for Sleep Apnea Treatment Plans

Sleep apnea has plagued millions of people over the years, but there is hope. Sleep physicians and dentists are coming together to work collaboratively to create new practices for sleep apnea treatment plans. Skill, licensure, and knowledge are all taken into account about each professional in order to provide the best outcome possible for their patients. Sleep physicians that are board-certified in sleep medicine are the best profession to be able to diagnose OSA properly. The next step is for a dentist who has been trained in sleep medicine to provide oral appliance therapy to the patient. After this process is done, your dentist will provide a follow up to make sure that the desired effects of the oral treatment took place. The AADSM has over 3,000 members, dentists that have proven they have the knowledge to excel with dental sleep medicine. The only way that these plans work is by upholding the highest of standards when it comes to their patients’ care. It is imperative to make sure that the physician and dentist you work with have AADSM Dental Sleep Medicine Facility Accreditation to guarantee the best results out of the... read more

An Overview of Sleep Apnea And Its Symptoms

Central and obstructive sleep apnea may have the same symptoms, which it is why it can be difficult to determine which type one has. The symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apnea may include the following: • Loud snoring • Waking up with a sore throat or dry mouth • Irritability • Morning headache • Waking up with shortness of breath • Episodes of breathing cessation • Excessive daytime sleepiness • Morning headaches When to see a Physician • Your snoring wakes you or your partner up • You experience shortness of breath • You stop breathing frequently at night • You experience daytime drowsiness Many people do not think that snoring is indicative of anything serious. However, it is important to see your doctor if you experience snoring or breathing cessation at night. You should also talk to your doctor if you have any sleeping problems. Daytime drowsiness may be indicative of sleep apnea or... read more

Six Recommendations on the Use Of An Oral Appliance

The AASM and AADSM have six clinical recommendations for treating patients with snoring or obstructive sleep apnea. 1.) We recommend that sleep doctors treat adult patients with primary snoring and no obstructive sleep apnea with oral appliances. 2.) We recommend that dentists use a titratable, custom appliance for adults with obstructive sleep apnea. 3.) We recommend that adults patients who cannot tolerate the CPAP treatment or prefer another treatment be treated with oral appliance therapy. 4.) We recommend that patients follow-up with their dentists. This will ensure that patients are not developing any bite changes or dental-related side effects. 5.) We recommend that sleep doctors perform follow-up testing in order to ensure that the treatment is working for patients who use oral appliance therapy. 6.) We recommend that both dentists and sleep physicians instruct patients who have obstructive sleep apnea and are being treated with oral appliance therapy to return to the office periodically for... read more

Best Practices for an Effective Physician-Dentist Collaboration

When a dentist and sleep physician work together, following clinical guidelines will help the patient get the best outcomes. The following is a list of specific recommendations: 1.) It is best to have obstructive sleep apnea diagnosed by a board-certified sleep physician. 2.) Once the patient has been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, he or she can get oral appliance therapy from a dentist. 3.) The dentist should use a custom-made oral appliance. 4.) The dentist will need to provide oversight in order to make sure that the patient is not having any occlusal changes or side effects. The dentist can also correct these problems. 5.) A sleep physician can perform follow-up tests in order to ensure that the treatment is working. 6.) People who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are strongly advised to see a dentist and sleep physician on a regular... read more

Benefits Of Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral appliance therapy is non-invasive and effective. Patients like oral appliance therapy for the following Fluoridated water is the most efficient way to protect your teeth from tooth decay. Tooth decay is one of the most common childhood diseases and is a leading reason why kids need dental surgery. Not only does fluoride protect children from cavities, but it also helps to protect adults from tooth decay. Fluoridated tap water prevents up to 25 percent of dental cavities in people of all ages. Fluoridation of water saves money. The cost to fluoridate a lifetime supply of water for one person costs less than one dental filling. Every $1 invested in fluoridating water saves $38 in dental treatment. Fluoride is safe and effective at protecting teeth. Fluoride is naturally present in water. It has been used and studied for more than 70 years. The American Dental Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization all endorse the fluoridation of public water supplies. reasons: *Easy to care for *Portable *Quiet *Convenient to travel with *Comfortable *Easy to wear How Dentists Can Help: What To Expect During The First Visit Dentists work closely with medical doctors to treat sleep apnea and snoring. Your dentist will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the treatment. You will also receive a thorough evaluation. This includes an examination of your teeth, jaw, tongue and x-ray. You may also get an x-ray. Oral appliances are made by taking a physical or digital expression. The models will be sent to a dental laboratory, which is where the appliance will be made. You will have... read more

Insurance Coverage for Sleep Apnea Devices

Question: Does medical insurance cover oral devices? If so, which ones? Answer: Many insurance plans cover devices that meet certain criteria. They must be FDA approved, custom-made, and placed and monitored by a dentist. There are more than 100 FDA-approved oral care devices. Question: How can I know if my insurance covers oral devices and how much of the cost it covers? Answer: Policies vary. Call your insurance provider or ask your dentist to call. A benefit estimator will know if your plan includes coverage though he or she may not know how much it covers. Question: Does medical insurance pay for anti-snoring devices? Answer: No. Covered devices must be medically necessary, custom made, and fitted by a dentist to ensure that you receive the best care. When snoring stops, you may still have sleep apnea episodes. Your dentist and physician should cooperate to manage your sleep... read more

Oral Appliance Therapy

More patients with obstructive sleep apnea are being treated with oral appliance therapy. Studies have shown that the oral appliance therapy is highly-effective. It also has a high rate of success. Oral appliance therapy is ideal for patients with obstructive sleep disorder or snoring. It is also great for people who are looking for an alternative treatment. People who want to get oral appliance therapy should have at least 10 well-supported, healthy and well-distributed teeth. They must also have a tempo-mandibular joint system that is stable without restriction and pain during protrusive or lateral excursions. Dentists have to receive extra training in dental sleep medicine because this is not taught in residency programs or dental school. There are several oral appliances available. Patient physiology, anatomy, preferences and sleep behavior are things that determine the type of oral appliance that is recommended. Patients who use oral appliance therapy will need to follow-up regularly with their physicians and... read more

Predictor of Bad Health and Behavior

A study that was published in JAMA in 2013 showed that snoring is a health killer that is not so silent. The reason that people with sleep apnea snore so loudly is because they have a partially obstructed airway. Snoring can also have a negative effect on the heart. A study done by Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit showed that snoring can be one of the first indications of heart damage. Snoring can also have a number of negative effects on children. Children who snore may have behavioral issues in the future. Researchers have found that children who snore are more likely to develop hyperactivity disorder. They are also likely to develop anxiety, depression and other emotional problems. A report done by the Melbourne Monash Institute of Research stated that snoring affects behavior and learning in children by waking them... read more

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