Assessment Results

High probability of sleep-disordered breathing

Based on your answers, there is a high probability that your partner has sleep-disordered breathing and should be evaluated by a medical professional. Possible disorders include:

Snoring
A common warning sign of sleep apnea, not all who snore also have sleep apnea. Though your partner may not be conscious of the nightly log-sawing, chances are it negatively impacts his or her sleep patterns and daytime energy levels, not to mention your own sleep quality.

Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS)
UARS occurs when a person’s air passage is so narrow that the chest and diaphragm muscles have to work extra hard to pull air in and release it while sleeping, causing repeated nighttime arousals and extreme daytime fatigue and sleepiness. Other symptoms include insomnia, morning headaches, acid reflux and difficulty concentrating. UARS is more commonly found in women and those within a healthy weight range, and isn’t necessarily accompanied by snoring.

Sleep Apnea
The most severe type of sleep-disordered breathing, sleep apnea is characterized by very shallow breathing or repeated interruptions in breathing while sleeping, which can occur from five to sixty times per hour. Most commonly found in men, sleep apnea risk increases with age and body weight. While sufferers may not be conscious of the problem, their bed partners likely report witnessing instances of snoring, choking, gasping, or periods when the snorer stops breathing during the night.

Sleep apnea starves the brain for oxygen and causes a variety of health problems, including daytime sleepiness and extreme exhaustion (which often results in increased motor vehicle accidents and occupational injuries), poor concentration and work performance, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, cardiovascular events, memory loss, and even decreased libido.

Next Steps

Encourage your partner to contact the Maryland Integrative Sleep Center to schedule a consultation. We will provide a comprehensive evaluation, including an in-home sleep study, to assess any possible sleep-disordered breathing issues. If severe sleep apnea is detected, we will refer your partner to a sleep center or board-certified sleep physician for further diagnosis.

If he or she is diagnosed with sleep-disordered breathing, our specially trained oral physicians can provide many treatment options that result in a better night’s sleep, improving energy and concentration levels throughout the day.

Intraoral appliances
Oral devices created by dentists are different than mouth guards sold in sporting goods stores. Those devices are actually dangerous to treat snoring, as they only mask the symptoms instead of solving the problem and may actually worsen the condition.

Laser therapy
NightLase is a noninvasive, nonoblative, nonscarring, nontraumatic laser-therapy treatment of the soft palate, uvula, and tongue. It’s ideal for those who either don’t want to wear an oral appliance at night or often forget, and it also continues to improve breathing during the day.

Holistic treatments
Comprehensive solutions that address the body, mind, and spirit go beyond oral appliances or laser treatments to treat the root causes of sleep-disordered breathing. When treating sleep-disordered breathing, health professionals should also take into account nutrition, weight loss, healthy habits, and stress-management strategies to create a customized solution for individual issues.

Read more about cultivating healthier sleeping habits and overcoming sleep-disordered breathing in my upcoming book, Stop the Snore! Dental Solutions for Healthy Sleep.

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