Effective Sleep Apnea Mouthpiece Treatment Options

It’s been suggested by recent research that oral appliance therapy is a viable treatment to correct everyday snoring and disruptive sleep disorders, like apnea. Worn only overnight, the mouthpiece fits similarly to a sports mouth guard. The mouthpiece keeps your bottom jaw pulled slightly outward which helps to keep your airway unobstructed and open. These oral mouthpieces are silent, easy to maintain and in some cases covered by your health insurance. Review all the options with your physician. If both of you agree that this therapy is the way to go, then you’ll receive a sleep apnea mouthpiece prescription and referral to a specialized dental professional. The dental professional will fit your mouthpiece specifically to your mouth. While there are many government approved oral aids, your doctor or dentist will suggest a mouthpiece that best suits your...
Is Your Snoring a Sign of a Serious Health Problem? [Update]

Is Your Snoring a Sign of a Serious Health Problem? [Update]

Snoring is one of the most common sleep problems in the United States. People snore when the soft tissues of the upper airway vibrate as you breathe during sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, an estimated 90 million adults in the United States snore. There are many factors that can contribute to snoring and this can be a warning sign for serious sleep disorders including obstructive sleep apnea. We’ve put together a list of some of the top contributors that lead to snoring and ways to reduce its effects. An estimated 50% of those that snore also suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. These tips can help to reduce snoring. That said, they are not a replacement for sleep apnea treatment. If you think you may have obstructive sleep apnea, schedule a visit with Dr. Bogrow to find the treatment that will help you to reclaim your sleep. Sleep Position One major factor that can contribute to snoring is your sleep position. If you tend to sleep on your back, it may be one of the reasons you snore. When you sleep on your back, your tongue can collapse to the back of your throat, interfering with your breathing and causing you to snore. Some may find relief from snoring by sleeping on their side. Others may snore in any position. Heavy snoring, regardless of your sleeping position, is a sign that you should get tested for obstructive sleep apnea. Weight Your weight is another factor that may be contributing to your snoring. Obesity can cause extra tissue to develop around your neck which can then constrict your throat...

The Utility of the Elbow Sign in the Diagnosis of OSA

Is this the future of triaging patients for potential OSA? This has been a long-standing process by partners of people who snore or in some cases stop breathing. Who knew we were helping to lead a medical advancement? All I was trying to do was get a good night’s sleep. A small clinical observation reported by co-author Mark Fenton, MD, of the University of Saskatchewan reported that among patients with partners a repeated statement made by partners was the need to poke or elbow patients who snore loudly or stop breathing to help restore regular breathing. This led to Fenton’s team developing a questionnaire that consists of just two questions: 1) Do you get elbowed for snoring too loudly? and/or 2) Do you get poked/elbowed because you stop breathing? Fenton states that “The questionnaire would be easy to incorporate into a clinical history and use in the diagnosis of OSA.” Since this study was only done in one center a more thorough case study would need to be completed to form a true result validating practical use of the questions in diagnosing...

Oral Appliance Therapy Guideline Released

The Guideline, jointly issued by the AADSM and AASM, is great news for both patients who are CPAP intolerant, and dentists who deliver Dental Sleep Medicine. This Guideline is great news for patients suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) as it endorses a more collaborative approach between the dental and medical communities. The Guideline specifically supports a qualified dentist fabricating a custom, titrate-able device, once a sleep physician prescribes an oral appliance for the treatment of OSA. AADSM President Kathleen Bennett, DDS. states “Communication and teamwork between sleep physicians and dentists are essential in delivering exceptional patient care. The new Guideline paves the way for a more collaborative relationship, which underscores the indispensable role a dentist plays in the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.” Earl K Bogrow DDS is a Diplomate of the prestigious American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, and now dedicates his practice exclusively to Oral Appliance Therapy for OSA &...

OSA May Affect Blood Flow Response in the Brain

People think obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) simply causes poor-quality sleep. Recent studies suggest, however, that there may be more to it than that. Indeed, results from specialized MRIs designed to monitor brain activity indicated a weakened blood flow response in some patients suffering from OSA. People affected by OSA often experience decreased perfusion, the heart’s ability to pump oxygenated blood to parts of the body, and inadequate blood regulation in the brain. to determine the effect OSA had on blood flow in the brain, researchers subjected study participants, with and without OSA, to global blood volume and oxygen dependent signals, which allowed the visual assessment of differences in blood flow response during three activities: a breathing exercise that raised the pressure in the chest, a hand grip challenge, and the submersion of one foot in icy water. While participants had fairly comparable results during the breathing activity, a weaker blood flow response was recorded in participants with OSA in the other two challenges. The study suggests that the part of the brain affected by OSA may delay the transmission of nerve signals from the arms and legs regarding sensation and muscle movement. Thus, the weakened blood flow response seems to directly impact nerve response. This idea is supported by the fact that the breathing exercise, which resulted in similar measurements between participants, did not require muscle movement, therefore not eliciting the same response from the brain as the other two activities. While the study did not address additional OSA-related problems, these findings can lead to more informed diagnosis and...