A recent study in the August 18 issue of the open-access journal PLoS Medicine found that study participants with severe sleep apnea were at a 40% increased risk of death compared to those who did not have sleep apnea. It's critical that dentistry, as a health profession, do all it can to participate in the recognition and management of this medical problem.
Lanham, MD (Vocus) August 19, 2009
Dr. Laurence Barsh recently spoke at the first annual Somnomed Symposium in Oahu, HI to a group of dentists emphasizing the urgent need for dentists to screen patients for snoring and sleep apnea and, where appropriate, to treat these patients with oral appliance therapy.
Nearly 50% of the population in the United States snores. Snoring can be an indication of a serious medical problem known as obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea, a condition where breathing is obstructed multiple times during the night, has been related to heart disease, sudden cardiac death, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, depression and accidents caused by drowsy driving.
During his presentation, Dr. Barsh stated that dentists have an obligation to inform the public that dentistry has an effective option for snoring and sleep apnea patients who cannot or will not use the CPAP machine prescribed for them as well as for those who would prefer to avoid surgery.
"With the prevalence of sleep apnea increasing on an annual basis and projected to affect 40,000,000 people by 2010, there is a particular need for those dentists who have taken special education and training in sleep medicine to advise patients that oral appliances are available and effective. Early recognition and treatment by CPAP or oral appliance will save millions of dollars that would be spent treating associated diseases. " said Barsh. " A recent study in the August 18 issue of the open-access journal PLoS Medicine found that study participants with severe sleep apnea were at a 40% increased risk of death compared to those who did not have sleep apnea. It's critical that dentistry, as a health profession, do all it can to participate in the recognition and management of this medical problem."
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.
Laurence I. Barsh, DMD
315 East 70th St., #7H
New York, NY