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Archive for November 2017

What are the Different Types of Sleep Apnea?

From snoring to pauses in breathing, sleep apnea should not be taken lightly—in fact, you should receive proper treatment immediately. As with other diseases and conditions, there are different types of sleep apnea you might be suffering from. For this reason, it is important to understand each type in order to better understand your specific condition for proper diagnosis.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when the soft tissue in the back of the throat relaxes during sleep and blocks the airway. This often causes you to snore loudly—we know how disruptive that can be!

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): Central sleep apnea is a much less common type of sleep apnea that involves the central nervous system. It occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles that control breathing. If you suffer from central sleep apnea it is likely that you seldom snore.

Complex Sleep Apnea: Complex sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. It is a form of sleep apnea in which central apneas persist or emerge during attempts to treat obstructive events with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or bi-level device.

What are the Stages of Sleep Apnea?

In addition to the types of sleep apnea, there are also three stages that occur as well:

  • Mild is the first stage in which patients stop breathing 5-15 times per hour.
  • Moderate involves a stoppage of breathing 16-30 times per hour.
  • Severe, which means patients’ breathing stops more than 30 times per hour.

Contact our Warrenton dentist, Dr. Bonnie Foster, to gain a better understanding of your specific sleep apnea type and how treatment can help to improve your symptoms.

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Is Your TMD Caused by Stress?

Maybe you’ve been trying to find the root cause for your TMD but are coming up short. For many, stress is the culprit. It affects almost everyone at some point in their lives. In fact, about 77 percent of people in the United States have reported that they experienced physical symptoms due to stress. Let’s take a look at how you can combat stress to help alleviate your TMD symptoms.

Adopt Awareness. If you are feeling stressed, take a moment to check and see if you’re carrying tension in your jaw. You might even notice that you are grinding your teeth. If so, it’s important to be able to pinpoint these moments throughout the day. The more you can make yourself aware of the situation, the faster you’ll be able to stop yourself from clenching and grinding when you feel anxious. When this happens, loosen your jaw and massage the muscles.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep. You should be getting at least eight hours of sleep a night in order to feel fully rested the next day. Having trouble sleeping? Make sure that electronic devices, caffeine or afternoon naps aren’t to blame. Keep your room at a comfortable temperature and leave distractions out of the bedroom for a restful sleep.

Eat Right. Your diet and stress are closely linked, and often times we don’t eat healthy when we have an impending deadline or a long workday. It’s sometimes faster just to run to the vending machine for a sugary snack than it is to pack something healthy. However, try to plan ahead before you leave for work. Be sure to stock up on fruits, vegetables and foods rich in omega-3s, which have been shown to reduce stress. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the sudden energy zap that often accompanies chowing down on a candy bar.

Exercise Regularly. Exercise is anything that gets the blood flowing, which triggers endorphins. Take a quick jaunt around the office or take a quick walk during your lunch break. You wouldn’t believe how just a little bit of movement throughout the day can instantly brighten a stressed mood.

Have any other tips for how you deal with stress? If so, we would love to hear them. If you’re currently dealing with TMD and need relief from your symptoms, contact Dr. Bonnie Foster, our dentist in Warrenton.

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A Sleep Apnea History Lesson

Sleep apnea has been observed since ancient times and, while a treatment or cause was not clear, people were still aware of this condition. In the late 19th century, the term “Pickwickian syndrome” was created to describe symptoms of sleep apnea. Unfortunately, the research mainly concentrated on the patient’s obesity rather than the disordered breathing experienced during sleep. In 1965, the first polysomnograph recorded apneas during sleep. Further research determined that obesity was not essential for sleep apnea, but there were other comorbidities associated with it.

The First Sleep Clinic

Sleep apnea research continued and the first sleep clinic was created at Stanford University in California in 1970 by William Dement. Two years later, Christian Guilleminault joined the clinic and concentrated on respiratory disorders during sleep. As the years went on, research on sleep apnea continued to improve as more medical professionals grew interested in sleep disordered breathing.

Between 1975 and 1980, there were 319 articles on sleep apnea appearing in medical literature. This increase in awareness would pave the way for advanced treatment options to successfully help patients get a better night’s sleep.

Sleep apnea continues to expand as more and more medical fields continue to explore causes, symptoms and treatment options. To learn more about sleep apnea and its history, contact our Warrenton dentist, Dr. Bonnie Foster.

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