Sleep Apnea Q & A
Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Treatment option (Oral Appliance Therapy)
Q: Why should I consider Oral Appliance Therapy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
A: Oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for patients who are diagnosed with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). A custom-fit oral sleep appliance can improve your sleep, restore your alertness, and revitalize your health.
Worn only during sleep, an oral appliance fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. It supports the jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway. Research shows that oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
Oral appliance therapy is an effective, non-invasive treatment that fits easily into your lifestyle. Patients like oral appliance therapy because it is:
• Easy to wear
• Convenient for travel
• Easy to care for
Q: Can Oral Appliance Therapy really help me?
A: Yes, some dental oral appliances are effective for treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). There are more than 100 oral appliances that have received FDA clearance. Although CPAP is the standard treatment of OSA, dental oral appliances are becoming more common as new research solidifies their efficacy in treating mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. It is important to work with your physician and dentist to find an appropriate treatment for you. Follow care is imperative to insure that the treatment is working.
Q: Can I get rid of CPAP if I get Oral Appliance Therapy?
A: Oral appliance therapy is an effective alternative to CPAP for treating patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
Researchers find that oral appliance therapy is an effective alternative to CPAP for treating patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. For severe cases of OSA, researchers recommend CPAP as the best treatment option.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has approved Oral appliance therapy (OAT) as a first line treatment for patients diagnosed with mild to moderate OSA. AASM recommends oral appliance for patients with severe OSA, who are unable to tolerate or cannot wear Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices. Another option for people with severe OSA is Combination Therapy, (wearing CPAP and an oral appliance together) to help reduce the pressure on a CPAP machine, making it more comfortable to use.
Depending on the severity of OSA, treatment options are:
• Mild to Moderate OSA: Oral appliance Therapy (OAT)
• Severe OSA: CPAP, Combination Therapy (CPAP and oral appliance together)
Q: Is Oral appliance therapy covered by insurance?
A: Oral appliance therapy is covered by many medical insurance plans. Most health insurance companies and Medicare cover sleep apnea oral appliances. The treating physician must first render the diagnosis of Obstructive sleep apnea before the dentist can initiate therapy.
In many cases, health insurance will cover all or part of the costs of getting an oral appliance for sleep apnea treatment. This can vary from different insurance plans and from state to state. Some insurance companies may cover the full cost, while others may cover part of the cost. Some insurers might not cover any of the cost.
*Dr. Anna Lee is a dentist trained in sleep apnea who can assist you with options of treating sleep apnea. For more information, please visit our sleep website at www.glendorasleep.com or call office at 626-335-5114 for a FREE Sleep Apnea Consultation.
Myths About Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts while the patient is asleep. Snoring is one of the symptoms among patients with sleep apnea. Many people snore but do not have sleep apnea. Some people have sleep apnea but do not have the symptom of snoring during their sleep at night. Studies show that 1 in 5 adults in the United States suffer from some forms of sleep disorder. Are overweight, middle-aged males more likely to have sleep apnea? Is sleep apnea more common with the elderly? Many people are misinformed about what sleep apnea is all about. Here are some common myths about sleep apnea:
Myth #1: If you snore, you have sleep apnea
Fact: Snoring is one of the symptoms among patients with sleep apnea. But snoring does not mean a person suffers from sleep apnea. Snoring occurs when something blocks air from flowing freely through the nose and mouth. When breathing occurs, the walls of the throat vibrate and cause the snoring sound. These are some of the causes of snoring:
• Swollen tonsils and adenoids that block the airways
• Being overweight, the fatty issue in the neck puts pressure on the airways
• Growths in the nasal passages (nasal polys)
• Nasal congestion, stuffy nose from a cold or allergies
• Alcohol consumption before bedtime reduces the resting tone of the muscles in the back of the throat.
It is important to check with the physician to have a proper diagnosis of the cause of the snoring and to rule out sleep apnea.
Myth #2: I don’t snore, why do I have sleep apnea?
Fact: Many people with sleep apnea do not snore, but exhibit other symptoms. These are some of the symptoms:
• Often wake up with a headache, a sore throat, or a dry mouth
• Experience daytime sleepiness
• High blood pressure
• Gain weight, overweight
• Experience irritability, mood swings, or depression
Myth #3: Sleep apnea is most common in the elderly
Fact: People of all ages, young or old, can suffer from sleep apnea.
• Age has nothing to do with the sleep disorder
• Children and young adults are just as likely to suffer from sleep apnea
-small children have enlarged tonsil tissues are at risk for sleep apnea
-children who are overweight are at risk for sleep apnea
-untreated sleep apnea may lead to mood problems, hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and poor school performances, angry and hostile behaviors
Myth #4: Sleep apnea only happens to overweight, middle-aged men
Fact: Both men and women can suffer from sleep apnea
• Sleep apnea is not exclusive to overweight, middle-aged men
• Men are twice more likely to have sleep apnea than women, but men are diagnosed with the condition almost 8 times more often than women
• Men and women sleep apnea symptoms are different
-men: over 40, overweight, snore loudly, larger neck circumference
-women: snoring is usually much lighter, menopausal changes and ambiguous symptoms
Myth #5: CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is the only option for treating sleep apnea
Fact: CPAP is the most widely used treatment for moderate and severe sleep apnea, but it is NOT the only option for treating sleep apnea. There are other options. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has approved oral appliance therapy (OAT) as a first line treatment for patients diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea
• CPAP- a small machine that supplies a constant and steady air pressure, a hose, and a mask or nose piece
• OAT-fits like an athletic mouth guard, quiet, portable , comfortable and easy to wear
• Surgery-increase size of the airway and reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea
Sleep Apnea is a serious medical problem for men and women of any age. Dr. Anna Lee is a Glendora dentist trained to assess patients with sleep apnea. If you have any questions about the myths of sleep apnea, contact Dr. Anna Lee for a FREE sleep apnea consultation. For more information, please visit our sleep website at www.glendorasleep.com or call office at 626-335-5114.
Why people don’t like CPAP devices? 5-30-2017
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is a standard treatment for people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It includes a small machine that supplies a constant and steady air pressure, a hose, and a mask or nose piece.
These are some of the common problems with CPAP therapy:
1. Patient compliance
• Compliance has been an issue with CPAP therapy. Inconsistent use of the device undermines the effectiveness of CPAP therapy
• Travelers find it inconvenient to bring the mask, tubing and a machine during their travel
• Uncomfortable and difficult to get used to
2. Wrong size or style CPAP mask
• Sizes-too large a mask leads to leaking air, too small/tight a mask leads to pressure sores and discomfort
-full face masks cover the mouth and nose, with straps that stretch across the forehead and cheeks. These masks may cause some people to feel claustrophobic.
-other masks have nasal pillows that fit under the nose and strap. They don’t work well if patients move/toss around a lot or sleep on the side.
3. Trouble getting used to wearing the CPAP device
• Some patients have claustrophobic and anxiety issues
-feeling “trapped” inside the full-faced mask may cause some patients to feel claustrophobic
-wear the mask all night causes anxiety for some patients
• takes time and lots of practice (being consistent) to get used to wearing the CPAP masks
4. Dry, stuffy nose or dry mouth
• Requires proper adjustment of the humidifier setting of the CPAP device
• Leaky mask causes dry nose
• Mouth breather causes dry mouth; CPAP treatment is less effective
5. Skin irritation or pressure sores
• Skin irritation or pressure sore is caused by ill-fitting mask
6. Difficulty falling asleep
• Getting used to wearing the mask
• Noisy machine
• Anxiety, feeling trapped inside the mask
7. Unintentionally removing the CPAP during the night
• Ill-fitting mask and it falls off
• Moving, tossing and turning during sleep could pull the mask off
8. Can’t adjust to the noise
• Running motor/machine
If you have experienced any of the common problems with CPAP therapy, talk to your physician and your dentist about other possible treatment options. Glendora dentist, Dr. Anna Lee, can help you. Schedule a free consultation with Dr. Anna Lee at 626-335-5114 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Taking a vacation this summer with Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)
Summer is just right around the corner. Many Americans will be on family vacations, business trips and leisure travel. For people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), travel can be a hassle of bringing along the continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) device that includes a face mask, tubing and a constantly running motor. Is there an alternative device for treating patients with obstructive sleep apnea besides CPAP? Fortunately, the answer is yes. Oral appliance therapy (OAT) is an effective treatment option for treating patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
Oral appliance therapy (OAT) is a custom fit sleep appliance. OAT is worn only during sleep and it fits like a sports mouth guard. There is no mask, tubing or running motor. It supports the jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway. The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) recommends OAT for patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Obstructive sleep apnea is diagnosed by the physician. Once the patient is diagnosed with OSA, the physician and the patient can decide the best treatment option. If OAT is the treatment option, the physician writes a prescription and refers patients to the Glendora Dentist who can provide OAT.
Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy
• Patient compliance
• Easy to wear
• Convenient for travel
• Easy to care for
Glendora Dentist can help
• Works closely with the physician to treat OSA
• Talks to patients about the benefits of OAT
• Provides information on potential side effects and the cost of OAT
• Conducts a complete clinical evaluation: examination of the teeth, jaw, tongue and airway
• Takes impressions and models of the teeth for lab to fabricate OAT
• Fits and adjusts OAT, oral hygiene instructions
• Schedules for sleep study to verify treatment (OAT ) success
• Schedules follow up visits to ensure the optimal fit of OAT
• Schedules for annual assessment
Oral appliance therapy (OAT) helps travelers to continue their sleep apnea treatment while on the road. Treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) promotes a healthier heart, body and mind. With good sleep, you will live a happier and healthier life.
If you want information on treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), schedule a free consultation with the Glendora Dentist, Dr. Anna Lee at 626-335-5114 or email email@example.com
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
Mild to Moderate Sleep Apnea
• Lose weight
• Quit smoking
• Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, sedatives
• Avoid caffeine and heavy meals with 2 hours of going to bed
• Exercise regularly, maintain regular sleep hours
• Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)-dental device that fits inside the mouth, like an athletic mouth guard. OAT is a first-line treatment for patients diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea. OAT is comfortable, easy to wear, quiet, portable and convenient for travel.
Moderate to Severe Sleep Apnea
• Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure (CPAP)-machine is used with a variety of breathing masks that cover the nose and mouth, providing a constant stream of air that keep the breathing passages open while sleeping. CPAP machines are being updated and improved; they are lighter, quieter and more comfortable.
• Sleep Apnea Implants-one of the newest treatments; involves the insertion of a pacemaker system that stimulates muscle to keep airways open for breathing during sleep.
• Surgery-increase the size of the airway; risks of complications and infections.
Glendora dentist, Dr. Anna Lee, is a trained dentist in Sleep Apnea who can assist you with treatment. Dr. Anna Lee performs an airway assessment and Sleep Apnea evaluations. Dr. Anna Lee also conducts a full evaluation of your teeth, mouth and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) to ensure that your teeth and jaw structure are healthy enough to wear an oral appliance.
If you have any questions, please call for a free consultation at 626-335-5114 or visit our sleep website at www.glendorasleep.com
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts while the patient is asleep. Patients may not be aware of these short breathing pauses that occur hundreds of times a night. The sleep deprivation (can’t fall asleep or can’t stay asleep) caused by sleep apnea can result in daytime sleepiness, slow reflexes, poor concentration, and increased risk of driving accidents. Sleep apnea is also linked to some serious medical problems, including heart disease, stroke, liver problems, and diabetes.
Major warning signs of Sleep Apnea:
• Loud and chronic snoring almost every night
• Choking, snorting, or gasping during sleep
• Pauses in breathing
• Waking up at night feeling short of breath
• Daytime sleepiness and fatigue
Other warning signs of Sleep Apnea
• Insomnia or nighttime awakenings; restless sleep
• Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
• Going to the bathroom frequently during the night
• Forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating
• Moody, irritable, depressed
• Morning headaches
*If you experience any of these symptoms, contact Glendora dentist, Dr. Anna Lee, for a free consultation for Sleep Apnea. Call for an appointment at 626-335-5114 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is so frustrating when you can’t sleep or fall asleep at night even when you are so tired. A bad night of sleep can cause you to feel groggy or unproductive throughout the day. Insomnia is a sleep disorder. People who suffer from insomnia have a difficult time falling asleep or staying asleep at night, resulting in feeling fatigued, moody, and irritable during the day. Some people suffer short-term insomnia; it is usually due to a temporary interruption of routine. Others suffer chronic insomnia and it is more likely caused by unhealthy daytime and bedtime habits, such as having an irregular sleep schedule, drinking caffeinated beverages late in the day, or eating heavy meals before bedtime. Possible causes of insomnia may be psychological and medical. Insomnia can be a symptom of other sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, which is a serious medical problem.
Some causes of insomnia
• Psychological: anxiety, stress and depression are common causes of chronic insomnia. Anger, worry, grief, bipolar disorder and trauma also contribute to insomnia
• Medications: antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, cold and flu medications that contain alcohol, pain relievers that contain caffeine, diet pills
• Daytime habits: irregular sleep schedule, napping, drinking caffeinated beverages late in the day, heavy meals too close to bedtime, lack of exercise
• Medical: insomnia can be a symptom other sleep disorders, including SLEEP APNEA, restless legs syndrome, and circadian rhythm disturbances tied to jet lag.
*You should definitely be checked if you can’t sleep. If you have insomnia, it can be a symptom of Sleep Apnea. Contact Glendora dentist, Dr. Anna Lee, for a free consultation for Sleep Apnea.
Snoring is a common condition that can affect anyone, men and women, socially and medically. Socially, snoring is disruptive to family life and causes other family members sleepless nights. A recent study by the Department of Health of advertisements promoting martial health reports that snoring is a potential source of tension between spouses. Medically, snoring can be a warning sign of a serious medical condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
What is Snoring?
Snoring occurs when something blocks air from flowing freely through the nose and mouth. When you breathe, the walls of the throat vibrate and cause the snoring sound.
What are some of the causes that can lead to snoring?
• swollen tonsils and adenoids that block the airways
• being overweight, the fatty tissue in the neck puts pressure on the airways
• growths in the nasal passages (nasal polys)
• nasal congestion, stuffy nose from a cold or allergies
• alcohol consumption before bedtime reduces the resting tone of the muscles in the back of the throat (reports WebMD)
** Snoring is definitely a concern because it is linked to a serious medical condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). What it means is that if you snore, you may be at risk of having Obstructive Sleep Apnea. What are the symptoms of OSA?
Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
• multiple episodes of breathing pauses, lasting for more than 10 seconds at a time (can experience up to 300 episodes per night)
• wake up with a choking or gasping for air sensation
• loud snoring
• wake up with a sore or dry throat in the morning
• wake up with morning headaches
• daytime sleepiness, lack of energy during the day, sleepy while driving
• forgetfulness, mood changes
If you have any of these symptoms, contact Glendora dentist, Dr. Anna Lee, for a free consultation for Sleep Apnea
These are some serious medical problems linked to snoring and obstructive sleep apnea:
The sleep medicine expert, Karl Doghramji, MD, medical director of the Sleep Center at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals in Philadelphia said that people with severe sleep apnea have a 40% greater chance of dying early than do their peers.
• Stroke-health data from a sleep study found that the intensity of snoring was related to the risk of carotid atherosclerosis. The louder and longer you snore each night, the greater your long-term risk for a stroke.
• Heart Disease
-sleep apnea is linked to cardiovascular problems and may lead to heart attacks
• Arrhythmias-people with long-term snoring or sleep apnea risk developing an irregular heart rhythm called arrhythmia
• Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)-people with sleep apnea may have GERD
• Headache-people with sleep apneas may have frequent morning headaches due to lack of deep sleep at night
• High Blood Pressure
If you snore at night, feel fatigue and moody during the day, or you are not sure if you have sleep disorder, contact Glendora dentist, Dr. Anna Lee, for a free consultation at 626-335-5114 or visit our sleep website at www.glendorasleep.com
Some Treatment Options
Treatment options depend on the cause of snoring and the severity of the condition: consult with Glendora dentist, Dr. Anna Lee, to decide what treatment is best for you.
• Cause of snoring1: lifestyle
Treatment: quite smoking, avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, sedatives, caffeine and heavy meals. Exercise regularly
• Cause of snoring2: overweight
Treatment: lose weight
• Cause of snoring3: swollen tonsils
• Cause of snoring4: Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Treatment: CPAP for moderate to severe OSA
Treatment: Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) for mild to moderate OSA
Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure (CPAP)
CPAP machines are used with a variety of breathing masks. They are most widely used treatment for moderate and severe OSA.
CPAP treatment may cause side effects: dry or stuffy nose, irritated skin on the face, dry mouth, and headaches. If the CPAP device is not adjusted properly, patients may get stomach bloating and discomfort while wearing the mask.
Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has approved oral appliance therapy (OAT) as a first line treatment for patients diagnosed with mild to moderate OSA. The AASM also recommends oral appliance therapy for patients with severe OSA, who are unable to tolerate or cannot wear CPAP devices. Another option for people with severe OSA is combination therapy (wearing CPAP and an oral appliance together) to help reduce the pressure on a CPAP machine, making it more comfortable to use.
Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT):
• Oral Appliance Therapy is an effective, non-invasive treatment that fits easily into your lifestyle. Patients like Oral Appliance Therapy because it is:
-comfortable, easy to wear,
-portable, convenient for travel
-easy to care for
Oral Appliance Therapy my cause side effects: soreness of the mouth, saliva build-up, nausea, and damage or permanent change in position of the jaw, teeth and mouth.
Women & Sleep
Typical Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) patients are usually men who are overweight and snore loudly with choking or gasping sounds at night. There are over 20 million American adults suffer with OSA. While obstructive sleep apnea is more common in men, many women suffer from OSA as well. Men are twice more likely to have sleep apnea than women, but men are diagnosed with the condition almost 8 times more often than women. Are women with sleep apnea under-diagnosed and misdiagnosed? What are the symptoms and health risk factors of sleep apnea in women? What are the treatment options?
Under-diagnosis and misdiagnosis for women with sleep apnea
Women with sleep apnea are often diagnosed for other sleep disorders instead of sleep apnea. According to the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Specialist, Dr. Angie Randazzo, at St. Lukes Sleep Medicine & Research Center, “Women often don’t have the stereotypical body type and don’t always say they are sleepy. Many will say they are fatigued, leading clinicians to think they have insomnia versus OSA.”
Some of the reasons women are under-diagnosed and misdiagnosed with sleep apnea may be:
-breathing problems during sleep more subtle
Women’s Sleep Apnea and Related Health Issues
A study at UCLA found that the heart rate of women with sleep apnea was less likely to adjust during physical activity than that of men with OSA. Women are more vulnerable to heart conditions. Other studies found women to be at higher risk of inflammation, hypertension and dementia.
Sleep Apnea is linked an increased risk of serious health problems:
Women’s Risks for Sleep Apnea
There are different factors that may contribute to sleep apnea. Treatment options vary based on the individual needs. Women of all ages can suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Some treatment options:
Sleep Apnea, What is the Truth?
There is so much information on the Internet it can be difficult to see what is truth. You may have heard about a dental device that can improve your sleeping and decrease the negative impact sleep apnea is having on your life, but you may not have believed it was not something you were a candidate for.
Dr. Anna Lee and her team can help decrease the negative impact of sleep apnea on your life without having a loud c-pap machine to keep you up at night. A dental device by Dr. Lee and her team fits comfortably in your mouth to open up your jaw so that your throat does not close.
The dental device is custom made to fit in your mouth and improve your life. Sleep apnea can rob you from opportunities that come your way because you are tired, unfocused, and/or struggling to get to work on time. Dental devices are comfortable, fit perfectly in your mouth, do not make noise and do not require energy.
You have nothing to lose by contacting Dr. Anna Lee and her team for a consultation.
Dr. Anna Lee
General and Family Dentist in Glendora, CA