In the past, treating overnight airway blockages was a matter of CPAP and hope for the best, if sleep apnea was ever diagnosed at all. Now dentists are lending their expertise to the problem—and oral appliance therapy shows increasing promise for exhausted people everywhere who are desperate for some Zs.
Incisal Edge dental lifestyle magazine contributing writer Mellanie Perez speaks with dentists and companies who are combating sleep apnea:
“Today, more than at any time in the past, sleep apnea is recognized as a dental problem in addition to being an ailment of the airway per se. It’s a common (yet serious) disorder that causes one’s breathing to become shallow or stop completely during sleep. This breathing caesura—called “apnea”—can last 10 seconds or more and happen more than 30 times an hour, prompting a serious reduction of oxygen in red blood cells and even more deleterious potential effects on long-term health.
Remarkably, not a single organ in the body is unaffected. Sleep apnea’s comorbidities—ailments that often accompany it, to an individual’s great detriment—include hypertension, high blood pressure, stroke and Type 2 diabetes; it has recently been linked as well to cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, even gout. Alarming stuff—yet some 93 percent of women and 83 percent of men (out of the estimated 30 million Americans who suffer from the condition) haven’t been clinically diagnosed. What gives?”
* why patients are thanking Dr. John Tucker, of Tucker Educational Excellence in Erie, Pennsylvania, for giving him their life back after oral-appliance therapy (OAT) and
* how practitioners are using Vatech’s new i3D Premium Intraoral Imaging System’s welcome precision to pinpoint the exact obstruction problem.
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