“I don’t snore.” “Oh, no, not me!”
That’s exactly what we said until we got tested ourselves. It turns out that we, like millions of others, are afflicted with one of the nation’s most serious, yet overlooked, health issues: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Apnea literally means “cessation of breath,” an often life-threatening issue that can be resolved with oral appliance therapy.
We realized we had to get over any trepidation or embarrassment and learn how to deal with this issue. So we attended several continuing education classes and now know how to diagnose and in many cases, treat sleep apnea. First we learned how to administer a home sleep test that is read by a certified sleep physician. A copy of the report along with a recommendation is sent to the patient’s regular doctor. For mild to moderate cases, and even for some serious cases when the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is not tolerated, we can customize a sleep appliance that has demonstrated evidence-based positive results with many of our patients.
We learned about the severity of sleep apnea and strongly encourage our patients to get tested if you suspect anything. In fact, a study by The American Academy of Sleep Medicine shows that moderate to severe OSA is independently associated with an increased risk of stroke, cancer and death. Results of a 20-year follow-up study show that people with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea were four times more likely to die, nearly four times more likely to have a stroke, three times more likely to die from cancer, and 2.5 times more likely to develop cancer.
We want to protect our patients! So for those who snore or wake themselves gasping for breath, please let us assess if a dental appliance is the best course of action that can help you or your loved one. Ask us more about it when you come in.
All the best from Mitchell Dentistry!