High Incidence of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Suburban Dental Practices

In a recent study published in the journal Sleep and Breathing, Dr Todd Morgan and others showed that the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may be higher than expected in suburban dental practices.

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Have you been told that you hold your breath while sleeping?

(Vocus) July 2, 2009

In a recent study published in the journal Sleep and Breathing*, Dr Todd Morgan and others showed that the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may be higher than expected in suburban dental practices.

In this multi-site study, a questionnaire designed to predict OSA was used to survey dental patients presenting for routine appointments. The validated questionnaire asks questions such as: "Do you snore?" and "Have you been told that you hold your breath while sleeping?" The survey takes only a minute or two to complete and correctly predicts the likelihood of OSA and its severity.

The questionnaire is a valuable tool for any healthcare practitioner who screens patients early in the disease process. Most OSA is undetected until significant negative health effects, like cardiac problems, hypertension and excessive daytime drowsiness precipitate a physician or dentist visit. This study proved that up to 67% of men and nearly a third of women were in need of a sleep study. Follow-up sleep recordings, made on a subset of those polled, showed that the questionnaire had a 95% sensitivity for predicting OSA.

Dr Morgan worked with Advanced Brain Monitoring, a company that supplied the home monitor used to test the subjects. The study was part of a larger project looking at novel ways of diagnosing and treating sleep apnea, and funded by the NIH.

"Undetected sleep apnea is believed now to be a cause of cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and stroke. These diseases are more often, now, associated with sleep apnea and doctors are ordering more sleep studies. Early detection may prevent disease and potentially save many lives," said Morgan.

Dr. Morgan maintains a private practice in Encinitas, CA and is a member of Snoring Isn't Sexy, LLC.

*Levendowski DJ, Morgan T, et al. Prevalence of probable obstructive sleep apnea risk and severity in a population of dental patients. Sleep Breath (2008 Nov) 12(4):303-9

About Snoring Isn't Sexy, LLC
Snoring Isn't Sexy, LLC was founded in 2008 by Laurence I. Barsh, DMD, a dentist who has been involved with sleep medicine since 1992 and who now devotes full time to educating the public about dentistry's role and responsibility in the recognition and management of snoring and sleep apnea. Dr. Barsh and the dentists associated with Snoring Isn't Sexy, LLC feel strongly that management of sleep-breathing disorders is a shared responsibility of both the medical and dental professions.

Snoring Isn't Sexy, LLC consists of independently owned and operated affiliated offices. Visit http://www.SnoringIsntSexy.com for a directory of all participating dentists.

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