Two Doctors One Problem

Dr. Matt here.

Two Doctors for One Problem:

Dentists can’t diagnose sleep apnea and Physicians can’t make oral appliances.

Working together Fisher Jones Family Dentistry and Sleep center Physicians we can help you get well and cope with your condition.  Typically through a conversation we suspect Sleep Apnea and advise that you get a sleep clinic consultation and/or sleep study.  It can involve your primary care physician or we can refer you directly.  Daily I have people tell me about snoring, tiredness during the day, spouse observed stop breathing episodes and high blood pressure. Take this simple test.  Each question is answered on 0-3 scale.  If your score is 11 or greater you are at high risk, 10 or below is considered normal. Do you fall asleep when?

  1. Sitting and reading
  2. Watching TV
  3. Sitting inactive in a public place
  4. As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break
  5. Lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit
  6. Sitting and talking to someone
  7. Sitting quietly after a lunch without alcohol
  8. In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic

This is just one example and a starting point.  In addition BMI (body mass index) greater than 35, age greater than 50, neck circumference greater than 40 cm, and male gender are other important information points.

20% of adults have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

OSA is a sleep breathing disorder that involves repeated episodes of hypopnea (>50% reduction in airflow) and apnea (10 seconds no airflow) despite an effort to breathe.  We relax during our sleep, causing soft tissue in the back of the throat to collapse and block the airway.

The gold standard for treating OSA is a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure).  Basically you wear a mask to bed that delivers you oxygen.

Some of us can wear a CPAP with great success and some of us cannot.  If you cannot then maybe Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) may work for you.  Your sleep Physician needs to help you with your decision.  I can make an appliance that brings your lower jaw forward and opens up the back of your throat while you sleep.  We use two brands the TAP 3 and Somnomed.

So in summary, get checked and get treated.  Sleep is so important for body and mind restoration, active immune function, dependable memory and safe emotional discharges.  That person in your life that seems unreasonable may just be sleep deprived. Sleep is a natural state, where we have reduced or absent consciousness, reduced sensory activity, and reduced voluntary muscle activity.  Normal sleep for an average human is 7-8 hours per night.  I hope that this information did not put you to sleep.  Lol



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