Lack Of Breath May Ruin Your Well-being
There is probably no other condition that impacts your well-being as much as sleep apnea or its less serious cousin – snoring. Just imagine that while you sleep someone comes by chokes you for a whole minute, and repeats this every 5 minutes throughout the whole night. Worst of all, you are not aware of this happening.
Sleep apnea seems to be an underlying factor for many conditions, therefore it should be taken very seriously. The author has noticed that most of his dental patients who have had braces as teenagers after having had several healthy teeth extracted for the ill-educated purpose of “creating space,” invariably suffer from a multitude of detrimental effects, such as excessive tooth wear, orthodontic relapse, jaw-joint dysfunction, a mid-face deficiency, flat face with lack of proper lip support, insufficient jaw sizes to fit the tongue in a proper position, snoring, and sometimes sleep apnea. Many times sleep apnea is an accompanying condition in these patients, due to the fact that the smaller jaws will just not accommodate the tongue, which tends to fall back and block the airway during sleep. As dentists we have to be able to identify the incidence of this serious disorder, and offer treatment after obtaining a diagnosis by a physician.
ADULT SLEEP APNEA FACTS:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA for short, afflicts 20 million Americans. 9% of men and 4% of women have OSA.
- According to published statistics, most heart attacks happen in the early morning hours. Many of these can be blamed on O.S.A.
- The Anales Medicina de Interna reported in 1999 that patients with untreated sleep apnea have a 37% chance of dying within 8 years.
- Nasal breathing and an ample oxygen supply encourages nasal and sinus epithelium to produce Nitric Oxide, a tissue mediator which prevents the blood from clotting, protects arteries and dilates blood vessels.
FACTS OF SLEEP APNEA IN CHILDREN:
- Most growth hormone is produced during the first few hours of sleep.
- 90% of growth and tissue repair happens during NREM stage 4 sleep.
- According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, every child should be screened for sleep apnea and treated immediately.
- Chronic adenoid and toncil enlargement is the most common cause of childhood sleep apnea.
- Since enlarged tonsils and adenoids are a major cause of sleep apnea and mouth breathing in children, consequentially smaller jaws and dental crowding are also common findings.
- A survey conducted by the journal Pediatrics from 2001 determined that children who snored during early childhood tended to show poor performance in middle school.
Read the full story about Sleep Apnea at Dr. Sarkissians web site.