Category: Sleep Apnea Treatment

Are You Unwittingly Making Your Sleep Apnea Worse?

7 Aug 2018 by  admin in Sleep Apnea Treatment

sleep apnea using CPAP , machine SLEEP APNEA , Diagnosis Sleep apnea , SLEEP APNEAHigh blood pressure, obesity, stroke, and heart attack—these are all possible health effects of poorly controlled sleep apnea. This serious sleep disorder occurs when breathing stops and restarts in a cyclical fashion throughout the night. Often, patients don’t realize they have sleep apnea until their snoring prompts their sleep partner to make a doctor’s appointment. If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you should be aware that the following factors can make your condition worse.

Smoking cigarettes

Smoking cigarettes is one of the worst things you can do to your health and the health of the people around you, but quitting isn’t easy. If you need more motivation to quit, consider how smoking could be affecting your sleep apnea episodes. Each time you inhale a mouthful of smoke, the chemicals in the smoke irritate your upper airway, throat, soft palate, and all of the other oral and upper respiratory structures. Cigarette smoke causes these tissues to become inflamed and swollen. The swollen tissues will narrow the airways and can make sleep apnea worse.

Drinking alcohol

If you often enjoy a nightcap before bed, you could be jeopardizing your quality of sleep and making your sleep apnea worse. Alcohol acts like a sedative on your muscles. It causes the throat and tongue muscles to relax, which increases the risk of airway obstruction.

Sleeping in a certain position

If you’re a back sleeper, your partner is more likely to complain about frequent snoring. You’re also more likely to suffer repeated episodes of sleep apnea, since this position allows the tissues to obstruct the throat more easily. Instead, try sleeping on your side. If you unintentionally roll back over to your back in your sleep, try placing a bulky body pillow right next to you to prevent this from happening.

Gaining weight

Overweight and obesity are significant risk factors of sleep apnea, and gaining more weight can make the symptoms worse. The more weight a person gains, the more extra tissues there are around the airway. During sleep, the muscles relax and threaten to block the airway. Being obese and sleeping on one’s back can create a perfect storm in which sleep apnea gets out of control.

What’s worse is that having uncontrolled sleep apnea can increase the risk of additional weight gain. This may be because sleep deprivation throws hormones out of balance, and some of those hormones affect one’s daytime appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods.

Overcoming sleep apnea through dentistry care

If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your risk of serious health problems. Get your sleep apnea under control with help from the dentists at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry in Long Island, Suffolk County. We offer custom-fitted oral appliances that provide an effective alternative to CPAP therapy. Unlike CPAP therapy, oral appliances don’t require a mask, hose, or noisy equipment. It’s a safe, comfortable treatment option that will start working immediately. Call our dental office at 631-246-4992 to request an appointment with Dr. Nick or Dr. Elliot and discuss sleep apnea dental treatment on Long Island.

Additional resources for sleep apnea patients:

  1. U.S. News & World Report, Sleep Apnea: 8 Things That Make It Worse, https://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/2018-07-05/sleep-apnea-8-things-that-make-it-worse
  2. Mayo Clinic, Sleep Apnea, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sleep-apnea/symptoms-causes/syc-20377631

Can Sleep Apnea Put Your Life at Risk?

11 May 2018 by  admin in Sleep Apnea Treatment

sleeping man with sleep apneaFew things are as frustrating as trying to fall asleep while your partner is snoring loudly enough to score on the Richter scale. If this happens regularly, or if your partner wakes up gasping throughout the night, it’s time to schedule a doctor’s appointment for him or her. These are classic signs of obstructive sleep apnea, and without treatment, this sleep disorder could lead to life-threatening complications.

The good news is that sleep apnea is also treatable with just a quick trip to your dentist’s office.

Cardiovascular complications of sleep apnea

Sleep apnea doesn’t just cause snoring and gasping for air during sleep—these are only symptoms of the underlying problem. This sleep disorder happens when the airway becomes obstructed by soft tissue, preventing breathing. The brain then temporarily rouses the person from sleep to restart breathing. Often, patients don’t realize they’re waking up dozens or more times each night.

Cardiovascular complications can develop because of the repeated drop in oxygen levels. Each time the oxygen level drops, blood pressure rises. Over time, untreated sleep apnea may lead to hypertension. In turn, high blood pressure increases the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), heart attack, heart arrhythmias, and stroke. Men with sleep apnea also appear to be at an increased risk of heart failure—a condition in which the heart cannot pump as much blood as the body needs.

Sleep apnea and chronic kidney disease

Sleep apnea patients suffer from chronic sleep deprivation. Even if they are unaware of waking up dozens of times each night, it still disrupts the natural sleep cycle, leaving them unable to get deep, restorative sleep.

Two of the many organs sleep deprivation can affect are the kidneys. The kidneys are regulated in part by the natural circadian rhythm of wakefulness and sleep. Specifically, the circadian rhythm influences the metabolism of sodium and potassium. Evidence suggests that the drop in blood oxygen saturation causes accelerated kidney function decline. In other words, people with untreated sleep apnea are at a higher risk of chronic kidney disease.

Increased risk of daytime accidents

At some point, everyone experiences the side effects of sleep deprivation. It causes daytime fatigue, lack of concentration and attention span, and a reduced capacity for judgment, reasoning, and decision making. It also slows reaction times. Patients with sleep apnea can experience these problems every day, which dramatically increases the risk of daytime accidents like car crashes and workplace incidents. Some of these can be deadly.

Treating sleep apnea without CPAP machines

CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, may be necessary in cases of severe sleep apnea. But patients with only mild cases may be able to avoid sleeping with a bulky, uncomfortable mask and hose thanks to advanced dental treatments. Here at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re committed to helping our patients live life well.

Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot can fit you with a small, comfortable oral appliance—no mask or hose needed! The oral appliance works by gently repositioning your jaw while you sleep to prevent your airway from closing. Call our sleep apnea dentists in Suffolk County, Long Island today at 631-319-9509 and request our next available consultation. You’ll be sleeping better and improving your health in no time!

Additional resources for sleep apnea patients:

  1. Mayo Clinic, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obstructive-sleep-apnea/symptoms-causes/syc-20352090
  2. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Signs, Symptoms, and Complications, https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/node/4231

Surprising New Treatments for Sleep Apnea

14 Dec 2017 by  admin in Sleep Apnea Treatment

All sleep disorders affect health and quality of life, but sleep apnea is arguably one of the most damaging. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway muscles relax too much during sleep. As a result, the individual can’t get air to the lungs. The brain senses the lack of oxygen, and causes the individual to briefly awaken.

Most people with sleep apnea aren’t even aware they’re waking up dozens and dozens of times each night. Because of the drop in oxygen levels, and the effect on the cardiovascular system, untreated sleep apnea has the potential to lead to life-threatening health problems.

Some medical pioneers are hoping to expand the treatment options available to patients with sleep apnea.

Can cannabinoids treat sleep apnea?

Although it certainly remains controversial—not to mention highly regulated—researchers are studying cannabinoids for use in treating a variety of medical problems, including sleep apnea. One new clinical trial is testing a synthetic version of THC, which is the active ingredient in cannabis, for treating this sleep disorder.

The drug, dronabinol, is already used for chemotherapy patients suffering from nausea and vomiting. Now, clinicians believe it might offer new hope to sleep apnea patients who have trouble using the CPAP machine. Dronabinol is thought to work by acting on the neurotransmitters in the brain that influence the upper airway muscles.

Is a sleep apnea computer implant on the horizon?

Can implants help treat sleep apnea? Recently, LivaNova agreed to a $225 million deal for the purchase of ImThera Medical. ImThera Medical has pioneered a revolutionary neurostimulation treatment for sleep apnea, called aura6000. After being implanted inside the patient’s chest, the device works by stimulating the hypoglossal nerve in order to manipulate the positioning of the tongue during sleep. This technology is still in development, and it may be years before it’s accessible to patients—assuming it’s approved for use.

Proven sleep apnea treatments available right now

New sleep apnea treatments on the horizon might not be available for years. In the meantime, every night that your sleep apnea goes untreated places you at an increased risk of serious health complications. Heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and stroke are some of the health problems associated with untreated sleep apnea.

You can take advantage of effective, risk-free sleep apnea treatments that are available right now at your dentist’s office. Oral appliance therapy is an excellent alternative to CPAP therapy for many patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. You might also be a good candidate for oral appliance therapy if you have severe sleep apnea, but are unable to use CPAP therapy.

Your dentist will custom-fit your oral appliance. You’ll wear it inside your mouth when you go to bed, and you’ll remove it in the morning. It works by gently nudging the tongue and jaw forward slightly, in order to hold the airway open and prevent cessation of breathing. To get the most benefit from your oral appliance, you need to wear it consistently every night—and remember to clean it every morning!

Get your custom-fitted oral appliance on Long Island

Searching for Long Island sleep apnea treatment? Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry invite sleep apnea patients to schedule a one-on-one consult at our Suffolk County clinic. We’re proud to offer this effective therapy, which has been endorsed by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Our financial department can even help you sort through your insurance coverage.

Put an end to your snoring today and support your overall health. Call us at 631-296-0588.

Further resources on new sleep apnea treatments:

  1. National Institutes of Health, Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28349316
  2. Fierce Biotech, LivaNova inks $225M deal for sleep apnea startup, https://www.fiercebiotech.com/medtech/livanova-inks-225m-deal-for-sleep-apnea-startup

How is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?

19 Oct 2017 by  admin in Sleep Apnea Treatment

More than 20 million Americans suffer from some form of sleep apnea, a potentially dangerous condition that disrupts your breathing and nighttime rest. If you find yourself dozing off on your morning commute, unable to focus or stay awake at work, it may be time to speak with your primary physician about getting tested for sleep apnea.

Snore Score Quiz

There are many tools and methods for diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea, including some preliminary tests you can take right in the comfort of your own home. For example, the American Sleep Apnea Association offers a Snore Score Quiz. If you answer “yes” to any of the below, you are encouraged to discuss your risk with a health care professional.

  1. Are you a loud and/or regular snorer?
  2. Do you often have problems with memory or concentration?
  3. Do you fall asleep reading, sitting, watching TV or driving?
  4. Have you ever been observed to gasp or stop breathing during sleep?
  5. Do you feel tired upon awakening, or do you wake up with a headache?
  6. Are you often groggy or fatigued during waking hours?

Diagnosing sleep apnea

If your Snore Score wasn’t great, the next step is scheduling an appointment with your primary doctor, who will evaluate your symptoms and perform a general physical exam. Your current condition and family history will also play a large role in determining whether you will be referred to a Sleep Specialist for further testing.

Doctor’s Visit

Keeping a “sleep diary” for 1-2 weeks that logs how many hours of rest you get, and how alert you feel during the days will be very helpful for your physician. Your doctor will ask if any family member has been diagnosed with a breathing problems or sleep apnea, which may suggest the disorder runs in the family. In addition, they will attempt to rule out other factors that may be affecting your sleep patterns such as mood disorders, substance abuse, prescription medication, or another medical condition. This is done through questions and a thorough physical examination of the nose, mouth and throat. People with sleep apnea typically have enlarged tissues in the soft palate and a pronounced uvula.

Sleep studies

Additional testing may be needed to diagnose sleep apnea. Patients may be asked to spend the night at an accredited sleep center, or take a sleep apnea test at home using monitoring equipment. In-lab sleep studies are some of the most accurate for diagnosis as they generate multiple records brain activity, heart rate, rapid eye movements and blood pressure as you sleep. The testing is known as “polysomnography,” and uses electroencephalogram (EEG), electroculogram (EOG), and electrocardiogram (EKG) for measurements.

Both professional sleep studies administered in a sleep lab and at-home testing provide a substantial amount of data on your sleep cycle and breathing interruptions. Of most importance is the apnea-hypopnea index – AHI – which marks breathing cessation that lasts 10 seconds or longer. An AHI of 5 to 15 is categorized as mild sleep apnea; 15-30 is moderate, while 30 or more is considered severe obstructive sleep apnea.

The severity of your sleep apnea, current health and age will help determine which sleep apnea treatment is most likely to provide results.

Sleep apnea treatment Suffolk County

Oral appliance therapy has proven a highly successful treatment for cases of mild to moderate sleep apnea. Pioneered by dentists, this non-invasive treatment can drastically improve the quality of your sleep and overall health. Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick are highly-trained sleep apnea dentists in Suffolk County, who have years of experience treating both teens and adults.

To learn more about sleep apnea treatment in Suffolk County, NY, please call our Long Island practice and schedule a free consultation. You can reach our Rocky Point, NY office at (631) 296-0549.

Additional “Sleep Apnea Testing” Resources:

  1. SleepEducation.org, Sleep Apnea Diagnosis http://www.sleepeducation.org/essentials-in-sleep/sleep-apnea/diagnosis
  2. NIH, How Is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed? https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sleepapnea/diagnosis
  3. SleepApnea.org, Getting a Sleep Apnea Diagnosis https://www.sleepapnea.org/treat/getting-sleep-apnea-diagnosis/

Are You at Risk for Sleep Apnea?

19 Sep 2017 by  admin in Sleep Apnea Treatment

Snoring is more than just a nuisance for your partner. It could be a symptom of a potentially serious yet common disorder known as sleep apnea. An estimated 25 percent of adults are habitual snorers, and while not always the case, these noisy rumblings may increase your risk for a host of health problems that impact quality of life.

Obstructed sleep apnea is a common yet severely underdiagnosed condition. Recent studies indicate that 20 percent of American adults suffer from mild sleep apnea, which translates to some 40 million people. This disease can affect anyone, regardless of age or sex. It occurs when the throat muscles narrow or temporarily close during sleep, restricting air flow and interrupting breathing. Sufferers usually snore loudly, and are awoken repeatedly through the night, sputtering as they gasp for air.

Today, we have a much greater understanding of obstructive sleep apnea, including its causes and most reliable treatments. Research and anecdotal evidence has also shown us some of the factors that increase risk for developing sleep apnea.

Besides heavy snoring, what are some other risk factors for sleep apnea?

Who is at risk for sleep apnea?

Here are nine factors that increase sleep apnea risk.

  1. Gender – While OSA can affect both sexes, the American Lung Association finds that middle-aged men are twice as likely to have sleep apnea compared to women of a comparable age.
  2. Smokers – Smoke is an irritant that causes airway tissues to swell. According to a 2001 study, smokers are nearly three times more prone to developing sleep apnea than non-smokers.
  3. Weight – There is a strong correlation between obesity and sleep apnea. Research has shown that a modest 10 percent gain in body weight can increase sleep apnea risk six-fold.
  4. Anatomy – People who have a long, soft palate are more likely to have sleep apnea, as this narrows the opening from the nose into the throat. Also, those who have a “disproportionate” jaw size that is too small for a normal-sized tongue.
  5. Large tonsils/adenoids – Sleep apnea is more common in adults, but pre-school children are also prone to the disorder if their adenoids or tonsils are enlarged. A tonsillectomy usually resolves this issue.
  6. Family history – Scientists don’t believe that you can inherit sleep apnea, but genetics do play a role. If your father is being treated for moderate to severe OSA, there is a good chance that you may also be at risk due to similar jaw anatomy.
  7. Alcohol use – Wine, beer and hard liquor too close to bedtime may also be a hazard because of the relaxing effects that alcohol has on throat muscles. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism cautions that alcoholic use can extend the duration of sleep apnea episodes.
  8. Neck girth – According to WebMD, the larger the neck circumference, the higher the risk of obstructive sleep apnea. In men, this means anything over 17 inches, or 15 inches for women.
  9. Race and ethnicity – Thus far, studies have not shown an increased incidence of sleep apnea in certain races or ethnicities. However, rates of sleep apnea are much higher in Western countries, where obesity is much more prevalent.

When to get evaluated

Just because you don’t wake up the neighbors with buzz-like snoring, doesn’t mean you’re not at risk for sleep apnea. Even healthy men and women of normal weight can suffer. Look out for these warning signs:

  • Excessive day time fatigue
  • Morning headaches
  • Frequently waking with a sore throat/dry mouth
  • Diminished libido
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Restless sleep, waking up frequently at night

When getting evaluated for sleep apnea, the severity is determined by how often your breathing is impaired in a one-hour period. Some people may experience only a couple of episodes an hour, while others will suffer more than 20.

Sleep apnea dentist on Long Island

In the past, sleep apnea suffers were often prescribed CPAP machines, which suppress snoring and keep airways open as you sleep. While effective, these bulky devices involve strapping a mask to your face, which can be uncomfortable and claustrophobic to many.

In some cases, sufferers can get relief (and a good night’s rest) simply be wearing a custom-made oral appliance that moves the lower jaw forward. This can be fitted by your dentist, after a thorough assessment and evaluation.

Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot are sleep apnea dentists Long Island trusts, boasting decades of experience successfully treating this common disorder. Call us today to set up a free sleep apnea consultation!

Additional Resources on Sleep Apnea Risk Factors:

  1. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Who Is at Risk for Sleep Apnea? https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sleepapnea/atrisk
  2. Huffington Post, 8 Things That Increase Sleep Apnea Risk http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/06/sleep-apnea-risk_n_4018460.html
  3. Apneos, Sleep Apnea is Common — Who Gets It? http://apneos.com/whogets.html

 

5 Warning Signs You May Have Sleep Apnea

22 May 2017 by  admin in Sleep Apnea Treatment

An estimated 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, but 80 percent of them don’t know it yet. Some people stop breathing for 10 to 30 seconds at a time, up to 400 times a night. They may not realize it, but the episodes prevent them from slipping into deep, restorative sleep, and greatly increase the risk of suffering a stroke, getting into a car accident, or having a heart attack.

The trouble is that the symptoms aren’t always apparent because they occur during the night when sufferers aren’t fully aware. Without a light-sleeping partner to notice the signs, it could take a cardiac event and a trip to the emergency room before someone with Obstructive Sleep Apnea realizes they have it. The sleep apnea experts at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry say to look out for five warning signs before the condition worsens.

5 biggest sleep apnea warning signs:

1. Snoring

Loud and persistent snoring is a tell-tale sign of sleep apnea. Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, but most people with sleep apnea snore. The snoring is usually loudest when the sleeper is on his or her back. Loud, disruptive snoring may not occur every night, but may progressively worsen over time.

2. Choking

Sleep apnea reduces ventilation by at least 50 percent, so it’s common for a person to wake up choking and gasping for breath. Most of the time, people with sleep apnea just shift around in their sleep enough to contract the throat muscles and open the windpipe, and they never remember the awakening. Other times, the brain triggers an emergency kickstart of the system, which is that sputtering, choking, gasping reflex.

3. Dry mouth and sore throat

It’s very hard for people to gasp through their noses. More than a third of people with sleep apnea report dry mouth as a symptom because they breathe through open mouths all night long. Mornings start with dry, sore throats, unquenchable thirst, and gummy-feeling front teeth.

4. Morning headaches and fatigue

Impaired breathing at night means less oxygen delivered to the brain. The lack of oxygen widens the blood vessels in the head. People with sleep apnea often suffer morning headaches and feel mentally fatigued all day long, despite technically “clocking” enough sleep time. Severe sleep apnea patients rapidly fall asleep during the day, at work, watching TV, while driving, or mid-conversation. People who sleep alone may not have any other symptoms other than excessive daytime sleepiness and headaches in the mornings.

5. Frequent night urination

Extreme sleep apnea affects a hormone that controls urine production. The hormone disturbance causes a condition called nocturia, where sleepers wake up with the desperate need to urinate several times a night. The more times a person wakes up, the more chances he or she has to recognize an urge to visit the bathroom.

What if you think you have sleep apnea?

If you worry you might not always be breathing and resting comfortably at night, Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot would like to see you at their Long Island dental office. With decades of experience in assessing and diagnosing Obstructive Sleep Apnea, these leaders in sleep apnea treatment are ready to help you. Sometimes the answer is as cheap and easy as sleeping with a soft mouthpiece that keeps the tongue and jaw in a neutral position to keep airways open all night. Don’t sleep another night wondering and worrying. Come in for an examination!

Additional “dental treatment for sleep apnea” resources:

  1. Berkeley Wellness – 5 warning signs of sleep apnea, http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-mind/sleep/article/5-warning-signs-sleep-apnea
  2. Healthy and Natural World – Sleep apnea warning signs you should not ignore, http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/sleep-apnea-warning-signs-you-should-not-ignore/
  3. National Institutes of Health – Sleep apnea signs, https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sleepapnea/signs
  4. SC Now – Sleep apnea signs, http://www.scnow.com/living/article_a3bbb818-dc0b-11e6-8bbf-7bd212527187.html
  5. Web MD – Sleep apnea clues, http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sleep-apnea/features/sleep-apnea-clues#1
  6. NIH – Dry mouth upon awakening in obstructive sleep apnea, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16911034
  7. Alaska Sleep – Signs you might have sleep apnea, http://www.alaskasleep.com/blog/signs-you-might-have-sleep-apnea
  8. Sleep Disorders Guide – The statistics of sleep apnea, http://www.sleepdisordersguide.com/article/sleep-disorders/sleep-apnea-statistics-the-statistics-of-sleep-apnea

Sleep Apnea: The Not-So Silent Killer

20 Feb 2017 by  admin in Sleep Apnea Treatment

To diagnose and treat sleep disorders, most people assume they should talk to their primary care physician or head over to a hospital-based sleep lab. But did you know that your dentist can also treat a sleep disorder? If you have untreated sleep apnea, it’s time to make an appointment with your dentist.

“Many people don’t realize just how serious sleep apnea really is,” says Dr. Nick Augenbaum of Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry. “When left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to life-threatening complications.” Dr. Elliot Koschitzki of the same dental practice adds, “Drug-free sleep apnea treatments from your dentist’s office can greatly improve your sleep and support your overall health.”

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that is characterized by the cyclical disruption of respiratory function during sleep. People with sleep apnea stop breathing for a few seconds to a minute or longer. When the brain senses the lack of oxygen, it forces the sleeper to briefly awaken to restart breathing. The resumption of breathing is often accompanied by a loud snorting or choking noise. Most patients are unaware that they’re waking up dozens of times each night. In severe cases, patients might cease breathing and wake up about 30 times in just one hour.

Why is sleep apnea so dangerous?

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that requires effective management to prevent life-threatening complications. Without proper treatment, the continual fluctuations in oxygen levels during sleep cause high blood pressure and increase the risk of:

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

Untreated sleep apnea increases the risk of heart failure. In patients who already have heart failure, sleep apnea can worsen the condition. Furthermore, sleep apnea increases the risk of heart arrhythmias. It also causes excessive daytime sleepiness and impaired concentration, which increase the risk of car crashes and other accidents.

Dentistry treatments for sleep apnea

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) has long been considered the standard in treating patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea, but it does have many drawbacks. For starters, many people find the CPAP mask uncomfortable and the machine noisy, prohibiting the good night’s sleep that it’s intended to produce. In fact, some patients stop using it altogether, which can have disastrous health consequences.

As a more comfortable alternative, dentists can provide oral appliance therapy. Patients who have previously undergone orthodontic treatment should have no problem adjusting to a custom-fitted oral appliance, which is only worn during sleep. The oral appliance is easily slipped into place before a patient goes to sleep to gently nudge the jaw into maintaining a slightly forward position. This holds the airways open during sleep, preventing the cessation of breathing.

Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot are experienced sleep apnea dentists and can create custom-fitted oral appliances for patients with sleep apnea. We take the time to carefully make any necessary adjustments to ensure a perfect, comfortable fit. We’ll also show you how to take good care of your custom oral appliance and we’ll recommend an appropriate follow-up schedule for your unique needs. Call our Long Island dentistry office today.

Additional sleep apnea resources

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, What Is Sleep Apnea? https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sleepapnea
American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Oral Appliance Therapy, https://aadsm.org/oral_appliance_therapy.php

3 Things You Didn’t Know About Sleep Apnea

3 Feb 2017 by  admin in Sleep Apnea Treatment

An estimated 18 million Americans experience periodic pauses in breathing throughout the night – a serious condition known as sleep apnea. Research shows that the number of people with sleep apnea has grown considerably over the past two decades, due in large part to the ongoing prevalence of obesity in the United States.

The longer obstructive sleep apnea goes undiagnosed and untreated, the more serious the consequences can become. Restless sleep can lead to concentration and memory difficulties and a slew of health problems ranging from cardiovascular disease to impotence.  Despite ample research on sleep apnea and its causes and effects, a good deal of misinformation persists about this common breathing disorder.

Here are three interesting facts you may not know about sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea runs in the family

When we think of genetic traits being passed on from parent to child, things like facial features and hair color come to mind. But studies indicate that sleep apnea can also be hereditary. According to Dr. Shalini Paruthi, a director of the Pediatric Sleep at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center and fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, babies can inherit features such as large tonsils, recessed chins and overbites that can put them at higher risk for obstructive sleep apnea. The American Sleep Apnea Association reports that children as young as 2 years old can develop sleep apnea, which can affect up to 4 percent of U.S. children.

Many people have it, but don’t know it

We often think of sleep apnea as a man’s disease, since it is usually associated with heavy, chronic and extremely loud snoring. In reality, sleep apnea can affect both genders, and may go undetected in women who only suffer from occasional bouts of light snoring. You don’t have to wake up choking or gasping for air to have sleep apnea. Even irregular episodes of moderate snoring may be a warning sign that you need to get tested. Sleep apnea may be mistaken for periodic insomnia, benign snoring or even anxiety-related disorders, which is why it’s important to be attuned to your sleep patterns and get tested, especially if you have any of the following risk factors:

  • Male
  • Obese
  • Smoker
  • Have enlarged tonsils
  • Drink alcohol frequently
  • Heavy snorer
  • Family history of sleep apnea

Your dentist can help you treat sleep apnea

For years, the primary method for treating sleep apnea was with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine that was worn over the face at night. But did you know that some people can get sleep apnea treatment from their dentist?

Oral appliance therapy is 95% effective in resolving the troubling symptoms of sleep apnea. Worn just like a mouthgaurd or orthodontic retainer, the appliance keeps the tongue and jaw in a slightly forward position, keeping the airway open. With consistent use, patients will notice they sleep soundly throughout the night without disruptive snoring episodes.

Sleep apnea treatment in Suffolk County

Here at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, we look forward to helping you sleep better and leading a long, happy and healthy life. For a free sleep apnea consultation in Long Island, we invite you to call our office today.

Additional Sleep Apnea Resources:

  1. Everyday Health, 6 Things People With Sleep Apnea Wish You Knew http://www.everydayhealth.com/news/6-things-people-with-sleep-apnea-wish-you-knew/
  2. Healthy Bookworm, 10 Common Sleep Apnea Symptoms You May Not Know You Have http://healthybookworm.com/health/10-common-sleep-apnea-symptoms/

Study Shows Diabetes Risk Heightened by Sleep Apnea

3 Nov 2016 by  admin in Sleep Apnea Treatment

Researchers have long noted a link between sleep apnea and diabetes, since both conditions are prevalent in overweight populations. However, the findings from a new study provide unequivocal evidence on the correlation between the sleep disorder and problems with glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. In addition, the findings support previous notions that patients who have already been diagnosed with one of the conditions be screened for the other.

In the past, research on obstructive sleep apnea and the development of Type II diabetes has been limited at best. Most studies were performed on a short-term basis and were restricted to small numbers of participants. Now, evidence gleaned by lead study author Mako Nagayoshi of Japan’s Nagasaki University School of Biomedical Science illustrates that people with severe sleep apnea are a staggering 70 percent more likely to develop diabetes.

Obesity raises risk for sleep apnea & diabetes

The Japanese researchers included more than 1,450 participants, all of whom had some degree of sleep apnea at the beginning of the research, which was categorized as mild, moderate or severe. Study participants had a median age of 63, and had no evidence of blood sugar level problems at the start of the trial.

285 of the study participants developed Type II diabetes after a period of 13 years, report the study authors. The results underscore the need for increased awareness and screening for sleep apnea, as it is a proven risk factor for diabetes and a slew of other health problems.

“Behaviors such as healthy weight maintenance and reducing time in sedentary activities would simultaneously reduce the risk [of] developing sleep apnea and diabetes,” Paul Peppard, a sleep disorder specialist who was not involved in the study, told Reuters.

Unfortunately, there are thousands of Americans with sleep apnea who have not been properly diagnosed for the condition, putting them at added risk for blood sugar problems, Type II diabetes, as well as heart disease, stroke and hypertension.

Sleep apnea diagnosis & treatment

Sleep apnea is a chronic disorder that disrupts your sleep, causing extremely shallow breathing or actual pauses in breathing. People with mild forms of obstructive sleep apnea may not be aware of their condition, thinking they are simply heavy snorers or just feeling fatigued in the mornings. The problem happens when tissues collapse in the back of the throat, blocking the airway. Over months and years, people with sleep apnea are habitually deprived of solid sleep, and may awaken dozens of times each night. This in turn, negatively impacts health and increases the chances of having a workplace or automobile accidents.

Doctors and sleep disorder specialists can accurately diagnose OSA with in-home or laboratory studies that monitor your sleep. For many years, the only way to manage sleep apnea was with Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which while effective, is not user-friendly. Individuals who have mild or moderate levels of sleep apnea may benefit from tongue retaining or jaw repositioning devices – otherwise known as Oral Appliance Therapy.

Oral appliance therapy in Long Island

An oral appliance is a custom-made mouthpiece that helps eliminate snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Because they are small, portable and comfortable, they are often the sleep apnea treatment of choice for patients of all ages. They function by repositioning your jaw or tongue to help keep your airway open throughout the night. No larger than an orthodontic retainer, oral appliances are also much more affordable than a CPAP machine, and are not associated with dry mouth, dry eyes, claustrophobia, or other adverse side effects.

Long Island dentists Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot offer Oral Appliance Therapy to qualified patients in their Suffolk County dental practice. To learn more about this innovative sleep apnea treatment, please call Long Island Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry and request a free consultation.

Resources:

  1. MassDevice.com, Sleep apnea may increase diabetes risk http://www.massdevice.com/sleep-apnea-may-increase-diabetes-risk/
  2. SleepEducation.org, Sleep Apnea – Overview & Facts http://www.sleepeducation.org/essentials-in-sleep/sleep-apnea

Dentists Help Prevent Workplace Injuries with Sleep Apnea Treatment

15 Apr 2016 by  admin in Sleep Apnea Treatment

The Sleep Apnea Association estimates that there are 22 million Americans suffering from sleep apnea – many with undiagnosed conditions. A new study warns that these individuals may be twice as likely to suffer a workplace injury compared to those who do not have breathing problems at night.

Research highlights dangers of sleep apnea

A new report published in the medical journal Thorax emphasized the dangers of going through life with untreated or poorly treated sleep apnea. Not only were sleep apnea sufferers twice as likely to suffer workplace injuries, but they were also three times more likely to fall, sustain a burn injury, or get into a commercial car crash. Overall, 10 percent of sleep apnea sufferers filed for disability from an on-the-job accident (compared to 5.4 percent of people with other sleep issues).

The University of British Columbia Hospital Sleep Laboratory looked at more than 1,200 patients – 994 people with the condition and 242 without – from May 2003 to July 2011. They compared their studies with data taken from workers’ compensation provider WorkSafeBC. Workers needed to take at least one disability day in order for the injury to constitute as a “workplace injury.”

Agencies look at ways to curb untreated sleep apnea

An even more troubling study published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine reported that commercial truck drivers who did not use their CPAP machines were four to five times more likely to be involved in a serious (and preventable) accident.

In response to increasing concerns about the risks and costs associated with untreated sleep apnea, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed requiring all rail workers and commercial vehicle operators to undergo sleep apnea screening as part of their comprehensive physicals.

Dentists offer CPAP alternative for sleep apnea treatment

Compliance is a major issue with sleep apnea sufferers who use CPAP machines. Many people do not like the invasiveness of wearing a large mask over their nose and mouth at night. It is also difficult for soldiers deployed overseas or those who travel extensively for work to lug around the cumbersome machine.

Dentists have an alternative. Oral appliance therapy involves sleeping with a small, sport-style mouth-guard that keeps the mouth in a neutral position, with airways open. One oral appliance user, Robert Thomas, admitted that the first night of using the appliance was “awkward” at first.

He explains, “I woke up in the morning next to a large pile of drool and felt a bit of soreness in my jaw.” However, the drooling resolved the second night and the jaw soreness disappeared by the fourth night. “While it did take a few days to become accustomed to wearing it, doing so was well worth the effort and I was thrilled with the results,” he concluded.

“To help you determine if a mouth-guard may be a simple, insurance-covered fix for your nighttime breathlessness, gasping, coughing, and snoring, we’re offering a free sleep apnea consultation in the NYC / Long Island area,” say Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry.

Fitting for an oral appliance is quick and easy. The team performs a routine oral exam, takes x-rays ad takes impressions of the teeth to create the custom-made mouthpiece right here in office. Small adjustments may need to be made within the first few weeks to ensure a perfect fit, but generally the device is easy to use.

Contact our Suffolk County dental practice today at 631.296.0602.

Resources:

  1. Thorax – Obstructive sleep apnea and frequency of occupational injury http://thorax.bmj.com/content/early/2016/03/15/thoraxjnl-2015-207994.abstract
  2. Snoring Mouthpiece Guide – What Does It Feel Like To Wear A Plastic Anti-Snoring Mouthguard? http://www.snoringmouthpieceguide.com/what-does-it-feel-like-to-wear-a-plastic-anti-snoring-mouthguard/

 

Free Consultation

Contact our Rocky Point (631.744.5700) or South Huntington Office (631.423.6563) today.
We would love to help you!

Award Winning Dentistry
Why Choose Us?

Winner of prestigious awards & honors in the field of implant dentistry

IV Sedation get your teeth worked on while you sleep

One Stop Shop: Complete dental implant procedire at our unbelievably low price of $2497

Members of:

  • American Dental Association
  • NYS Dental Association
  • American Academy of Implant Dentistry
  • Int. Congress of Oral Implantologists

“Have never had things explained as clearly and he has such a warm, personable manner. It was very refreshing.”
- Susan S.

100% Would Recommend

What Our Clients Say About Us
"I needed work and had anxiety. The entire office made me feel welcome and as calm as I could get. I am almost finished and so happy with the people and the work done."
- Karen
"As a resident of both New York City and Long Island I am so pleased to have discovered this practice. Up on all the latest dental procedures and techniques makes necessary treatment easy and well done!"
- Corrinne K.
"I would recommend using Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry. They helped me change the way I look dramatically. Thanks so much!"
- Jason C.