Dr. Young's background in dentistry gives him an advantage when it comes to treating sleep Apnea patients in Monmouth and Ocean County

Have problems sleeping? You may have a little-known condition called upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS), and your dentist may be the first one to diagnose it. That’s because your teeth may show evidence of grinding, and the dentist’s check of your mouth and back of throat might indicate the tongue, uvula, adenoids or other structures could be causing obstructed breathing during sleep.

UARS is associated with chronic insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, tension headaches – and, yes, teeth grinding.

It is often missed in sleep tests, such as polysomnography, and its symptoms can be dismissed by some physicians as caused by stress, hormonal imbalances or other issues.

Researchers and health care professionals continue to debate whether UARS is a separate disorder or simply a milder form of obstructive sleep apnea, although

More clinical studies need to be conducted.

Like sleep apnea, UARS is due to airway resistance during sleep. A narrowed air passageway, deviated septum, large tongue that falls back during sleep, loose tissue at the back of the throat, small jaw, crooked teeth, or other anatomical and craniofacial issues can cause this resistance, forcing the brain to rouse itself frequently during sleep to increase the body’s respiration.

Sleep apnea tends to develop in older individuals, affecting twice as many men as women, and is often linked to obesity. UARS can occur in younger patients of both genders equally, including in small children and those who are thin or of normal weight, but is not characterized by apnea or hypopnea, brief events in which breathing decreases or pauses entirely during sleep.

If left untreated, UARS can lead to chronic sleep deprivation, memory impairment, low-quality work performance – even psychosocial problems, including depression, and can progress into obstructive sleep apnea. Development of neuropsychological problems is not surprising since UARS prevents the brain from moving through restorative stages of sleep.

Some studies even suggest UARS and other sleep disorders increase a person’s risk for hypertension, cardiomyopathy and other heart diseases, and pulmonary dysfunction.

Surgery to correct the architecture in a patient’s mouth and throat or use of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) mask while sleeping are options for treating UARS in adults, but should not be the initial line of defense, advises the American Sleep Association (ASA).

Patient lifestyle and behavioral changes, including practice of “good sleep hygiene,” and, if necessary, use of dental and oral appliances that move the jaw forward or keep the tongue in place to open a patient’s airway during sleep should be considered frontline approaches for alleviating UARS symptoms, the ASA says.

I define “good sleep hygiene” as development of healthy sleeping habits, which, coupled with lifestyle changes like improved nutrition, weight loss and regular exercise, can reduce or eliminate problems related to UARS and other sleep disorders.

I offer the following tips for getting a good night’s sleep:

 

View Source

Back to the blog

Request an Appointment


What People Say About us

Wonderful staff…

"Wonderful staff, from the start of my process! I was referred by my cardiologist to see the Dr. I have AFib, and sleep apnea , a bad combination. Dr You g made me an Oral appliance which stopped my snoring , and allows me to sleep much more soundly . Easy to wear Follow up study showed apnea was successfully treated ! Thx Dr Young and Staff"

John Bagle

"Dr Young and his entire staff are awesome! From the first time you walk through the door you are made to feel welcomed. Dr Young has a great personality and really connects with his patients. This office was highly recommended to me and now I know why. I will be referring anyone in need of orthodontia care to this office!"

Ginamarie Mazzaro