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Sleep Apnea and Dental Sleep Medicine

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Sleep Apnea and Dental Sleep Medicine

Sleep Apnea is a dangerous, although common, condition suffered by over 22 million people. It can be a debilitating condition, requiring medical intervention in order to prevent further health risks. It’s a dangerous condition for not only the sufferer, but the sufferer’s partner and family members as well. Keep reading to find out more about sleep apnea, understanding sleep apnea and dental sleep medicine as a treatment in Encino and Los Angeles, and what can happen if you leave sleep apnea untreated.

Understanding Sleep Apnea

According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, Sleep Apnea is an involuntary cessation of breathing that occurs while the patient is asleep. The Greek word “apnea” literally means “without breath.” There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. Of the three, obstructive sleep apnea, often called OSA for short, is the most common.

Despite the difference in the root cause of each type, in all three, people with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer. In most cases, the sleeper is unaware of these breath stoppages because they don’t trigger a full awakening.

Types of Sleep Apnea

As mentioned, there are three types of sleep apnea. These include:

Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

One of the most dangerous parts of sleep apnea is that 80% of the people who suffer from it are unaware, and therefore, are undiagnosed. That is why it is especially important to look out for signs and symptoms of sleep apnea that can carry over into everyday life. It is also especially important if you suspect your partner may be suffering from sleep apnea, as they likely have no idea and wouldn’t be able to piece it together.

Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

Since Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common of all the forms of sleep apnea, it is of particular importance to know the symptoms. Questions you can ask yourself include:

Dangers of Untreated Sleep Apnea

Aside from experiencing symptoms that carry over into the daytime and disrupting your partner’s sleep patterns, untreated sleep apnea can pose more serious health risks. Since sleep apnea disturbs the normal breathing cycle and the body wakes to restart, it is very difficult to get a good night’s rest. Sleep is extremely important for the body, and not getting an adequate amount can be very dangerous in the long-term.

Health risks associated with undiagnosed sleep apnea include:

Sleep Apnea and Dental Sleep Medicine: Understanding Treatment

While sleep apnea can cause a host of debilitating issues, the good news about it is that it is a treatable condition, and people can go on living happy, normal lives.

Some types of treatment include:

Dental Sleep Medicine

If you have tried other methods and are still suffering from sleep apnea, or if all other treatment methods aren’t fitting your lifestyle and comfort level, dental sleep medicine is a great way to treat sleep apnea.

Finding the Course of Treatment for Sleep Apnea

When sleep apnea is addressed with the proper treatment, risks associated with the condition are significantly reduced. Specifically, at our center that caters to Encino and Los Angeles, and after the patient has received a sleep apnea diagnosis, Dr. Gorman will talk with them about their symptoms, review their medical history, and may perform a scan utilizing state-of-the-art dental technology to evaluate possible obstructions.

Once he is familiar with the details of their condition, Dr. Gorman will create a personalized treatment plan with the goal of improving their nighttime breathing. This often involves the use of a custom-fitted dental appliance the patient will wear while sleeping. This appliance is comfortable, invisible and does not need any special maintenance. If the patient’s sleep apnea is being caused by the tongue relaxing in the throat, a tongue-retaining device may be the ideal treatment for maintaining an open airway. Should an abnormal jaw position be the cause of breathing difficulties, Dr. Gorman may recommend a special device to correct this alignment. These appliances all help to create a larger airway which has many other benefits and your overall health will improve.

Treat Airway Issues

By treating airway issues through dental sleep medicine, the patient will experience a host of new benefits to their lives. These include:

Eliminating the Need for a CPAP Machine

If you have been living with a CPAP machine to treat your sleep apnea, the good news about dental sleep medicine is that you will no longer need one in order to sleep. CPAP machines, while they serve a helpful purpose, can be extremely uncomfortable and cumbersome.

It can be difficult to travel when you have a CPAP machine and can be a sensitive or embarrassing thing for the millions of people who use one. This can cause people to decline to go on trips or to stay at people’s homes due to their CPAP machine. In addition, CPAP machines can be loud. This can be difficult to get used to not only for the user, but the user’s partner, as well.

CPAP machines are also notorious for their upkeep. They are difficult to keep clean and to keep well-adjusted on the face. This can lead to a runny or sore nose, irritated eyes, and constant re-fitting to make sure the proper amount of air pressure is being delivered.

Other Conditions Dental Sleep Medicine Can Improve

Sleep apnea isn’t the only condition that dental sleep medicine can treat. More conditions include:

About Gorman Wellness Sleep Apnea Treatment Center in Los Angeles

The Gorman Wellness Center has been helping people suffering from Sleep Apnea with a non- invasive, clinically approved treatment method in the Encino and Los Angeles areas. This method has allowed our patients to sleep with far fewer events per hour allowing them to get rid of their CPAP and BiPAP machines. Imagine not having to use one of those machines, getting back a much greater quality of life along with the benefits of being able to breathe better.

Our dental practice offers a comprehensive array of preventive, cosmetic, and restorative therapies performed with compassion and an eye for detail. Along with general dentistry, we specialize in the preventative health approach to treating misaligned teeth using ALF Lightwire Orthodontics, as well as the management of pain and problems related to TMJ.

When it comes to something as important as your overall health, it is important to treat the underlying causes of dental problems—not just the symptoms. Integrative and Sleep Dentist Dr. Martin Gorman’s approach is rooted in the optimal health-based philosophy of Bioesthetic Dentistry. It is based on years of research and observation of the human chewing system. In healthy systems, there is a balance between airway, esthetics, function, and comfort. In simple terms, Integrative Dental Medicine provides you with a healthy mouth that looks great, feels great, and chews great!

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