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Your Health

Treating Sleep Apnea Without Surgery

Posted: 3/15/2013

An estimated 40 million people experience sleep apnea-and more than 75 percent of those with the condition remain undiagnosed
An estimated 40 million people experience sleep apnea-and more than 75 percent of those with the condition remain undiagnosed.

(NAPSI)—Excessive daytime fatigue may be linked to a nighttime problem that can prevent you from getting the rest you need.

The condition, called sleep apnea, is characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally shallow breathing during sleep.

If you suffer from the condition, your brain will wake you throughout the night to breathe. The result is that you will enjoy only very light, fragmented and poor-quality sleep, leaving you still tired at the end of your night’s sleep.

A Common Problem

The problem is more prevalent than many realize. It’s estimated that 40 million people in the U.S. experience sleep apnea—and more than 75 percent of those remain undiagnosed. In addition, those with it also tend to have high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, depression and sexual dysfunction, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association.

Said Dr. Mark Duncan, clinical director of the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (LVI), “If you feel sleepy in the day no matter how early you go to bed at night, it could be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea.”

A Treatable Condition

Fortunately, with proper treatment, according to Dr. Duncan, patients can expect a 70 percent success rate. He recommends using a dental device that is available specifically to treat sleep apnea.

The device is called an orthotic. Similar in appearance to a sports mouth guard, it moves the lower jaw forward and down slightly into a position that keeps the airway open. Neuromuscular dentists from LVI are specially trained to fit this device.

Benefits Without Surgery

An orthotic can offer a number of benefits, including:

• A significant reduction in apneas for patients with mild to moderate apnea

• Improvement and reduction in the frequency of snoring and loudness of snoring in most patients

• Better long-term control of sleep apnea when compared to the standard surgical treatment, with fewer possible complications.

To get the best results, make sure the device is fitted by a specially trained neuromuscular dentist who has both the training and computerized equipment to properly measure and find your optimal, at-rest, natural jaw position.

To learn more, visit www.leadingdentists.com.

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