Koala® Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders
Provide Treatment for Sleep Apnea
North Kansas City Dental can offer a wide variety of sleep solutions, now that we are registered providers of
Koala, Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders.
Why Sleep Apnea Occurs
"A typical sequence of OSA occurs when a person stops snoring and is silent for seconds, or minutes. The body’s oxygen level drops and the blood pressure rises. The heart is forced to beat faster, causing the pulse rate to increase. The brain may cause the arms, legs or whole body to jerk in an attempt to wake the sleeper so breathing will resume. The silence may end with a loud snort, cough or gasp. This causes the sleeper to wake briefly and begin breathing. Once asleep again, the muscles relax and the airway becomes blocked, cutting off the airway again. This cycle can occur hundreds of times per night. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea. It ranges in severity from mild to moderate, to severe. Other forms of sleep apnea include Central and Mixed Sleep Apnea."
Snoring... A Serious Problem
“Many of my patients have asked me, “What’s the difference between snoring and sleep apnea?” says Dr. Rod Willey, CEO and Founder of Koala® Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders . “I tell them that when you sleep, the muscles of your throat relax and your tongue falls backward, causing the airway to narrow. The uvula and soft tissues that surround the throat also become infirm, or “floppy”. As you breathe, these floppy tissues of the throat begin to vibrate as air struggles to enter around them – generally when you breathe in, but also, to a lesser extent, when you breathe out.
Snoring can become sleep apnea when the breathing becomes very shallow due to obstructions in the airway. The sleeper is unable to breathe deeply and get enough oxygen. When the airway is completely blocked, causing the person to make a choking/snorting sound and often makes them wake up, is known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Patients with OSA experience a pattern of similar events that repeat throughout the night - sometimes hundreds of times. The severity of OSA is determined by the number of breathing pauses per night and the duration of each pause.
Not all patients that snore have sleep apnea - and not all sleep apnea patients snore. However, because snoring could be a precursor to sleep apnea and is often a symptom of sleep apnea - it should not be ignored. People with OSA have a higher risk of death than the normal population. Crippling deterioration in daily functioning, increased risk of high blood pressure and stroke, depression, and death either in accidents or in their sleep are all side effects that someone with OSA could suffer from.
Patients with obstructive sleep apnea experience a pattern of similar events that repeat throughout the night, sometimes hundreds of times. The number of breathing pauses per night, the duration of each pause and the lack of oxygen, in part, determine the severity of obstructive sleep apnea.
Not all patients who snore have sleep apnea, and not all patients who have sleep apnea snore. However, because snoring could be a precursor to sleep apnea and is often a symptom of sleep apnea, it should not be ignored.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, breathing pauses can last from 10 seconds to a minute or longer. A person with severe sleep apnea may have hundreds of breathing pauses per night. Sleep Apnea is a serious problem in the United States with over 18 million Americans now suffering from the disorder and 90% of them going undiagnosed.
People with obstructive sleep apnea have a higher risk of death than the normal population. The price they pay includes a potentially crippling deterioration in daily functioning, an increased risk of high blood pressure and stroke, depression, and death either in accidents or in there sleep. There are terrible costs for the family of the person with obstructive sleep apnea, who may experience irritability, mood changes, lowered sexual drive and capacity, and a reduction of intellectual ability. In addition there are major business, insurance, health, and social costs including the loss of productivity, the impact of accidents caused by a driver or worker falling asleep, and the wasted health care dollars spent on alleviating symptoms like heart disease without treating their possible underlying cause.
Studies show that the person with sleep apnea isn’t the only one waking up or suffering from sleep deprivation. When the apnea is followed by loud snorts and snoring, the bed partner may wake up as often during the night as the person with the actual sleep disorder. One study from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., found that partners of snorers woke up, at least partially, an average of 21 times an hour, nearly as often as the 27 times the snorers were awakened by their sleep apnea episodes.
In a 2005 study from Finland of 37 male snorers and their bed partners, half of the bed partners reported being disturbed by snoring every night or almost every night. One third of the bed partners reported relationship problems as a result of the snoring.
In a 2003 study published in the journal Chest, doctors from the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., tracked the spouses of 54 patients with sleep apnea. Once the sleep apnea and snoring were treated, the spouses’ quality-of-life scores surged more than those who received the actual treatment. And treating the apnea also improved sleepiness scores among the spouses by 20 percent.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Treatment options for snoring and/or sleep apnea may include lifestyles changes, surgery, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) and oral appliance therapy.
Oral Appliance Therapy has proven to be a very viable and scientifically based treatment option for Snoring and/or Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine issued a statement in the 2006 journal “SLEEP” that Oral Appliance Therapy was approved as the first line of treatment for those suffering from mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea and in many cases proving to be effective, in many cases, for severe sleep apnea as well. “The purpose of the oral appliance is to hold the jaw in a position that allows the airway to remain as open and firm as possible during sleep,” says Willey. “Oral appliances are similar to athletic mouth guards, but less bulky and completely non-invasive,” he continues. Oral sleep appliances are covered by most medical insurances and Medicare.
Sleep Apnea Disorder for Children
KoalaKIDZzz® is a division of Koala® Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders specifically for kids. We treat children from toddlers to teens that suffer from symptoms related to Sleep-Related Breathing Disorder.
Sleep-Related Breathing Disorder in children is a much more critical and common problem than what has previously been thought. SRBD can manifest itself in a variety of symptoms that can be easily overlooked, misdiagnosed, and most unfortunately, left untreated. Early treatment is critical 9 out of 10 children suffer from one or more symptoms related to Sleep-Related Breathing Disorder.
Resources: Koala Center for Sleep and TMJ Studies.