Sleep is a time of dynamic healing and growth for the body’s immune, nervous, muscular and skeletal systems. Without the restful effects of sleep, the body and mind do not function at their optimal levels. People with sleep-related breathing disorders fight for air every night, this reduces oxygen levels to the brain and affects the quality of their sleep.
At least 11.30 % of people with Sleep Apnea do NOT snore (just because you don’t snore, doesn’t mean you don’t have some kind of Sleep Disordered Breathing). However, most people with sleep apnea do snore. For those people who snore but do not have apnea, the only harm done is to the relationship you have with your bed partner. Snoring is, however, considered a strong risk factor for a disorder that is very harmful called obstructive sleep apnea. It can actually be easily measured and treated by or experienced dentist.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses, or if the tongue closes the airway during sleep. Obstructive Sleep Apnea can lead to High Blood Pressure, increased incidence of Stroke, Diabetes, Low Birthweight Babies and in children, bedwetting, Restless Leg Syndrome, ADD and ADHD.
As these statistics show, sleep apnea is not a problem to be taken lightly. The risks of mortality faced by those with untreated obstructive sleep apnea are simply not worth it when you consider all the types of treatment available.
There are two ways to be tested to see if you have this deadly disease. One way is to spend the night in a Certified Sleep Center and have a Polysonomgraphic Study called a PSG. The other way is the have what is called an Ambulatory Sleep Study that can be done in your own bed in your own home.
At SmileOn Dentistry we have invested in a brand new technology called the Watch-Pat 200 which allows his patients to be screened for sleep apnea in the comfort of their own home.
If Doctor Tamura feels you are a candidate, he can first do a sleep evaluation in our office to determine if you would be a candidate for a sleep screening test. This small device is no bigger than a large wristwatch. You can check it out from our office and take it home for the night.
Our dental team members have been trained by the Itimar Corporation (makers of the Watch-Pat) to show you how to put the sensors comfortably on two of your fingers which will collect the data while you sleep.
The next morning simply put the Watch-Pat back in its custom carrying case and return it to our office. With a simple USB connection to our computer, we can print up a Sleep Screening Report which will tell Doctor Tamura if you have No Sleep Apnea or have Mild, Moderate or Severe Sleep Apnea.
If your sleep apnea is Mild, may discuss with you a mouthpiece you can wear at night which gently holds your lower jaw forward so your tongue does not fall to the back of your throat at night and close off your airway.
If your sleep screening report shows that your Sleep Apnea is Moderate to Severe, Dr’s Ramona and Anahita Sabaghian may refer you to a Sleep Physician. A Sleep Physician is a medical doctor who specializes in working with people who have Sleep Disordered Breathing. Many times your medical insurance will pay for treatment related to sleep disorders.
Sleep needs vary from person to person, but most adults require between 7-8 hours of sleep to be properly rested. Infants need as many as 15 hours while the elderly can get by with as little as 5-7. During normal sleep, there is a general decrease in body temperature, blood pressure, breathing rate, and most of our other bodily functions. Conversely, the brain does not decrease inactivity. Numerous studies have demonstrated that our brains are as active during sleep as they are during waking hours. In an eight-hour sleep cycle, normal adults alternate between two extremely different states: REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and non-REM sleep.
Rapid eye movement
Release of Growth Hormone to repair damaged tissues
Slowed breathing and respiration
Decrease in body temperature
Slowed in heart rate and blood pressure
The office is dedicated to assisting you or your loved one in understanding the health risks caused by sleep-related breathing disorders. Our goal is to help those who suffer get restful sleep through effective diagnosis and treatment. Call (310) 881-8780 to schedule an appointment today.