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What is Sleep Dentistry?

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Sleep dentistry is an innovative focus in dentistry. As a sleep dentist, Dr. Moore partners with physicians on diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep disorders that result from airway obstructions occurring during the sleep cycle.

It is estimated that obstructive sleep apnea disorder affects 5% of the western world; most of these cases go unrecognized despite the substantial mortality rates associated with them.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition where the throat collapses, disrupting breathing and repeatedly rousing a person from sleep. Sleep experts estimate 80-90% of people with Sleep Apnea are unaware of their condition.

Risk for OSA increases with age and weight gain. Obstructive Sleep Apnea raises the risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and driving accidents. Untreated OSA is frequently linked to decline in memory skills and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Symptoms can also exacerbate or mimic dementia symptoms.

Sleep studies indicate that sleep-disordered breathing is strongly associated with metabolic syndrome. A group of India-based researchers found that OSA patients were three times more likely to experience obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and hyperlipidemia (HLP). HLP patients have high blood cholesterol and triglycerides.

Dentists are in a unique position to be able to help. Because Dr. Moore sees his patients on a regular basis, he has the opportunity to screen for this very prevalent disorder and offer treatment options to improve their quality of life. A 3D Cone Beam Scan specific to the airway is the leading-edge technology developed to screen for OSA. If a screening indicates the patient is a candidate with mild to moderate risk, Dr. Moore can provide treatment using a sleep apnea device that fits much like a custom nightguard that positions the jaw forward to open the airway and increase oxygen levels. A CPAP device is the best option for severe OSA; however, compliance is crucial for optimal results.

SLEEP APNEA TREATMENT BENEFITS:

  • Improved cognitive function; relieves excessive daytime sleepiness and hypertension.

  • Sleep Apnea is often disguised as dementia in older adults – treating Sleep Apnea improves attention, judgment, and decision making.

  • OSA treatment may reduce gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) by decreasing strain where the esophagus and stomach meet. GERD symptoms include heartburn and acid reflux.

  • A study in the journal Sleep and Breathing found that treating Sleep Apnea may help reverse infertility. The study identified changes in the serum prolactin (PRL) secretion, which affects fertility.

  • Improved attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms - review of OSA and ADHD published in the 2011 August issue of Annals of Clinical Psychiatry found that 20-30% of patients with full-blown ADHD had OSA. After OSA treatment, patients saw improvement in behavior, attention span, and overall ADHD symptoms.
  • Better asthma control - in a recent study of sleep-disordered breathing and asthma, it was discovered that both disorders can go hand-in-hand, negatively influencing sleep quality.

  • OSA not only affects the health and mood of sufferers, but it also impacts bed partners. A study from the journal Sleep and Breathing found that treating primary snoring and OSA can improve a bed partner’s depression.

  • A good night’s sleep can help keep weight down. The findings of several recent studies examining the relationship between weight gain and sleep deprivation have indicated there is a possibility that the amount of sleep can influence weight gain.


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