Sleep apnea is a growing health concern, with millions now being diagnosed every year. Although a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea can affect anyone, even children, there are common risk factors for the condition. Being aware of these factors and seeking an evaluation if you have concerns can not only improve your quality of life but may also save your life.
Understanding Obstructive Sleep Apnea
There are several types of sleep apnea with different underlying causes, but all have the same effect and lead to repeated cessation of normal breathing during sleep. This momentarily deprives the body’s vital organs, including the brain of oxygen. It also deprives the patient of a good night’s rest, something the body needs to continue functioning at its best each and every day. Over time, the impact of sleep apnea affects both daily quality of life and physical well-being.
The apnea-hypopnea index is used to describe the existence and severity of sleep apnea in a patient. An “apnea” is the cessation of breathing for a minimum of 10 seconds and hypopnea is a decrease in breath volume of 30-50% and an associated drop in blood oxygenation of at least 4%. This produces repeated sleep disturbances also called arousals.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the result of a collapse of the soft tissues at the back of the throat that leads to apnea or repeated sleep arousals. Patients can often be identified as at risk by a dental professional with advanced knowledge of sleep-related disorders. There are several key risk factors related to health, genetics and lifestyle habits that can predispose someone for developing OSA. Discussing your overall health, medical history and concerns about your risk for OSA can help you receive the diagnosis and care you need in a timely manner before major health concerns are evident.
Dr. Spink is a leading dentist in Birmingham for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders and sleep apnea, the majority of which are often rooted in abnormalities in the occlusal system and jaw structure. Dr. Spink offers a range of oral appliances to meet the unique needs of the individual patient and is a member of Vivos, a protocol that offers advanced non-invasive treatment for compromised airways using a multi-disciplinary approach.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
- Feeling groggy or sleepy during the day
- Dry mouth in the morning
- Headaches in the morning
- Difficulty concentrating
- Restless sleep, sudden waking
What is Vivos?
Dr. Bruce Spink is a member of Vivos and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) and offers patients the benefit of comprehensive, advanced training in the treatment of diagnosed sleep apnea. He works with patients who exhibit symptoms or are considered at risk and in need of evaluation to coordinate the proper diagnostic sleep testing.
Vivos enables Dr. Spink to coordinate the diagnostics needed, recommended care and follow up for patients with sleep-disordered breathing and sleep apnea. This multi-faceted approach incorporates the knowledge and experience of appropriate physicians so that your unique oral health and physical health needs are addressed through your treatment.
Patients using the Vivos System are typcially monitored for 12-24 months as the oral appliance therapy gradually changes how the jaw muscles are positioned and improves airway function.
Ready for a better night’s sleep?
Dr. Spink can work with you to evaluate your sleep concerns and provide a comprehensive, personalized approach to your treatment. Improving your sleep can be life-saving and will minimize the many health risks associated with sleep apnea and sleep disorders in general.
Contact our Birmingham dentist office to schedule your consultation and explore your treatment options.