Sleep Apnea

Dr. Pankaj Singh

Dr. Singh is recognized as the authority in the field of Dental Sleep Medicine and has spent the better part of his professional career researching the effects and efficacy of Oral Appliance Therapy on airway and Dental Sleep Medicine.

He is dedicated to researching new avenues for sleep apnea treatment both in Dentistry and Sleep Medicine and is a passionate advocate for developments in Dental Sleep Medicine and Oral Surgery. It is among his professional goals to educate dentists on their role in a team approach to treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is very common and if left untreated can cause individuals to stop breathing during their sleep for a minute or more. Each time this happens the brain will wake a person up for a moment in order to get them breathing again, which results in sleep being interrupted frequently and leaving the individual tired throughout the day.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

If your bed partner notices that you snore or gasp for air regularly while sleeping, you may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Not everyone who snores has OSA. However, everyone who has OSA does snore. OSA is a condition in which people stop breathing for short periods, several times if not hundreds of times per night. Sleep apnea affects 13-17% of all adult Americans. Undetected sleep apnea is serious and can lead to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and even death. Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea can take 10 to 15 years off one's life.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Symptoms

  • If you are told by your bed partner that you snore or gasp for air during your sleep.
  • If you are tired and un-rested after sleep and need to take frequent naps.
  • If you have hard-to-treat blood pressure.
  • If you are obese
  • If you wake up with a dry or sore throat.
  • If you are irritable in the morning or have morning headaches.
  • If your legs feel twitchy at night.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

Diagnosis can be made through out Sleep Apnea specialists, Dr. Pankaj Singh. This is done either through spending a night in a sleep lab connected to wires and monitors or by a home sleep test. In our office, we have home sleep testing monitors which you can wear to bed in your own home. When you bring the testing unit back to our office, we will upload the data stored in the unit and diagnose if you have sleep apnea. The physician will also determine how severe the sleep apnea is and prescribe what treatment options would be appropriate. Treatment options include dental, medical or surgical.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment Alternatives

Until recently, the recommended solution was to pump air into the blocked passage by the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. It's appearance has been described like being a bulky jet pilots mask to something resembling a Darth Vader's mask. It's cumbersome, noisy and uncomfortable, but it will keep you alive. The problem is that most people use the mask on an inconsistent basis, which provides only limited value and still puts the patient at risk. Recent advancement in a specialized custom dental fabricated mouth guard provides a more comfortable solution. This small mouthpiece that rests inside the sleeper's mouth moves the jaw forward creating suction to open the throats airway. Research hasn't yet proven that treatment can reverse Obstructive Sleep Apnea, but does decrease or eliminate many of the bad outcomes.

Snoring Appliance

A snoring appliance is an oral appliance that resembles an athletic mouthpiece. Small and flexible, it has no moving parts, masks, hoses, or batteries. Generally made from sterile plastic it is easy to clean with a regular toothbrush.

Custom fit by a dentist in one simple, painless visit. Fit to the patient's teeth to keep the upper and lower jaw in position when the jaw and throat muscles relax during sleep. This keeps the airway open providing restful, quiet sleep.

CPAP

One way to treat people who have sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device. A CPAP device includes a mask, tubes and a fan. It uses air pressure to push the tongue forward and open the throat thus allowing air to properly flow through. It reduces snoring and prevents apnea disturbances.

You should put your CPAP device on whenever you sleep, even for naps. A CPAP device does not cure sleep apnea; but, when you use the device correctly, your sleep problems should get much better.

Man wearing CPAP machine

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