In recent years the condition of Obstructive Sleep Apnea has been getting more attention; and deservedly so! It is estimated that one out of ten people are struggling with some level of sleep apnea. This condition is most well known for the snoring that it causes, but the much scarier aspect is the deteriorating effect this condition will have on the body if left untreated.
Sleep apnea in a nutshell is when the tongue is too large for the size of the mouth. When one falls asleep the muscles surrounding the tongue and the tongue itself relax and then collapse in on the airway. The obstruction to breathing this creates is where the snoring is produced. A tighter airway causes friction when the body attempts to breath, the vibrations from this is what producing the sound we know as snoring.
As annoying as snoring is there is something far more deadly taking place. This is the slow deterioration of the body’s health. The root of the problem is the body is not taking in enough oxygen, nor is it expelling enough carbon dioxide. For people with severe cases of sleep apnea they may stop breathing 50 times in an hour!
This Sleep Disordered Breathing wreaks havoc on the heart; which must work overtime in order to circulate blood due to the lack of proper oxygen. Sleep Apnea is also now being linked to forms of cancer and brain damage. As you can see this lack of proper breathing while asleep can slowly kill you.
Heart attack, stroke, and hypertension are only a few of the problems that can develop from not treating this condition.
As if loud, obnoxious snoring and deteriorating health wasn’t enough; this condition also leads to extreme daytime fatigue. When the body is not getting the rest it needs the effects are felt in full force during the day.
This extreme fatigue can lead to a greater chance for automobile accidents, lack of motivation, poor performance at work or school and depression.
Treating this condition can have a serious positive effect on so many areas of life. Your partner will be able to sleep again with you no longer snoring, you can greatly decrease your chance of severe health problems such as stroke or heart attack, and you can feel energetic and productive during the day.
Currently there are three types of medical treatments for this condition. There is the first line of treatment which is for most CPAP Therapy, the number one alternative to CPAP therapy is oral appliance therapy, and some people may opt for oral sleep apnea surgery.
Not every patient is the same, some people prefer CPAP. Some people have such severe cases that only CPAP will work. There is an ever growing percentage of people who are now opting for an oral appliance now that word is out about it. Surgery is usually not the first thing people will try, but there are a number of surgical procedures available that could potentially work.
It really comes down to the patient exploring the various options and discussing with their medical professional about what may work. For those who do not know typically oral appliances will be offered from dentists who are versed in Dental Sleep Medicine. Sleep physicians will be the medical professionals who can treat a patient with CPAP.
Do some research and look to find a professional in your area that can help get you treatment. This condition is dubbed the “silent killer” for a reason.
Editors Note: This organization is definitely among the better in the community spreading the word about how deadly and debilitating sleep apnea can be. However they do seem to have no interest in bringing awareness to how dental sleep appliances can help patients. The problem is and always will be tolerance to CPAP; with so many patients not wearing their CPAP its surprising that an organization like the ASAA would make no mention of this option.
Patients opting for oral appliance therapy is trending up. Especially for mild-moderate cases where an oral appliance will be able to treat the condition with no assistance from CPAP at all. This is quite a shame, because without offering patients more options the war against sleep apnea will never be over. If you are sleeping without your CPAP then you are still going to suffer the health effects of untreated sleep apnea.
Below are a few quality websites of dentists who are offering oral appliances.
Dr. Charmoy www.somervilledentalsleepmedicine.com is one of the most well established sleep dentists on the east coast, his practice is in central New Jersey.
Dr. Morgan is equally experienced but he practices on the west coast out of Encinitas, CA. His site is www.zerosnore.com.
Dr. Gerlach in Plano, TX has also made the lives of hundreds in his community remarkably better through his skill with Dental Sleep Medicine. His site is http://www.gerlachdental.com
If you are someone who is intolerant to CPAP than opting for oral appliance therapy could be a good idea. However please keep in mind when researching for sleep dentists to ensure they have extensive experience in this field. Similar to the credentials you will find from the above mentioned individuals.
The American Sleep Apnea Association and the Sleep Apnea Support Website ‘Wake Up to Sleep’ Host Discussion, Twitter Chat and Video to Empower Patients to Take Charge of Sleep Apnea SAN DIEGO, March 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Untreated sleep apnea, a condition that affects one in five Americans, can…
The Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment Center in St Louis is owned by Dr. Kevin Postol. He is one of only two Diplomates with the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine in the entire state of Missouri.
He has tremendous experience in treating sleep apnea patients through oral appliance therapy. There are many patients in the St Louis area who are intolerant to CPAP; Dr. Postol’s alternative in oral appliance therapy has helped hundreds of people to get quality sleep and of course to stop snoring.
The potentially deadly condition of OSA should not be taken lightly. With so many patients being resistant to wearing their CPAP masks it is even more important that the word be spread about the alternative in dental sleep appliances. So many people could potentially find this an easy solution to their problem and help them live longer, happier lives.
If you live in the St Louis MO area and are struggling with your CPAP than contact Dr. Postol’s office. http://www.gotquietsleep.com