Health Risks

OSA is a potentially fatal disease, if left untreated (Punjabi, Caffo, Goodwin, Gottlieb, Newman, O’Connor, Rapoport, Redline, Resnick, Robbins, Shahar, Unruh, & Samet, 2009). The University of Maryland Medical Center (2009) indicates that associated complications include daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart failure,  stroke, diabetes, obesity, pulmonary hypertension, asthma, seizures, eye problems, headaches, high risk pregnancies, psychological problems (including depression), deprivation of sleep for bed partners, and, in children, attention deficit disorder and failure to thrive. Furthermore, there has been increasing media attention surrounding the issue of OSA related car accidents and clinical research has found that OSA patients are not only more likely to be involved in a car accident, but these accidents are also more likely to result in personal injury (Boyles, 2007; Mulgrew, Nasvadi, Butt, Cheema, Fox, & Fleethamm, 2008).

Who is at Risk?

According to (Mayo Clinic staff, 2011), OSA can be genetic, but does not have to be. Anyone can develop OSA, with certain features predicting the risk better than others. Overall, more men than women  suffer from the condition; and men are twice as likely to develop OSA (American College of Physicians, n.d.). Also, the African American, Hispanic and Pacific Islander races have been identified as high risk populations for developing the disorder (Mayo Clinic staff, 2011). Another major factor is age, such that being older (over 65) puts a person at risk or, for women, the risk increases immediately after menopause. Physical risks include obesity, a large neck circumference, a congested nasal passage or naturally narrowed airway. Finally, smoking, drinking alcohol and the use of sedatives or tranquilizers can increase the risk of developing OSA (Mayo Clinic staff, 2011).

Sleep Apnea

It is estimated that 50% of the adult population of the United States is sleep deprived.

Besides our general health improper sleep causes problems with our productivity, behavior, emotions, energy, marriage stability, job security and numerous other factors most of us take for granted.

If sleep wasn’t very important why is it that medical experts suggest eight hours or 1/3 of our day should be set aside for this?

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Snoring

Maintaining regular breathing during sleep is a real challenge for millions of Americans. Irregular breathing causes restless sleep and does not allow proper oxygenation for rejuvenation and repair.

Snoring is a noise produced by the vibration of the soft palate and sides of the throat when air rushes against them. This sound is amplified more when the muscles of the throat relax causing the throat to narrow.

Persistent loud snoring often disturbs not just the sleep of the snorer, but also those within hearing range causing restless sleep for others as well.

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CPAP Machine

When a person snores the air flow is disrupted, causing the throat or nose tissues to vibrate.

In some people this disruption is so bad that they can not breathe at all for short periods of time. This is what is known as obstructive sleep apnea. For sometime respiratory machines that deliver continuous positive airway pressures inflating the throat keeping the airways open have been the choice of treatment. These machines are commonly referred to as CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines.

Read more about CPAP machines >>

Associations & Memberships:

  • American Academy of Sleep Medicine
  • American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
  • International College of Cranio-Mandibular Orthopedics
  • Founding Members of American Academy of Oral Systemic Health