Unfortunately sleep, a process which consumes about one third of our life and which has a spectrum of abnormalities which can hinder our daily living, has received very little attention in our medical education system. Most physicians have not been trained to deal with these common problems.
Most people have a primary care physician, particularly with current health care plans. Unfortunately, most of these physicians have not received any training on identifying or treating sleep problems. If the physician were to add just a few screening questions related to sleep to their routine screening assessment, millions of Americans would be guided into a systematic pathway which could improve their sleep ills.
If a patient has fragmented, inefficient sleep, he/she is likely to suffer from daytime sleepiness and fatigue. The fragmented sleep does not lower the sleep drive during the night and as a result the person caries around an excessive amount of sleepiness during the day. Many patients with this problem are in denial, in spite of recurrent difficulties with sleepiness while driving or while sitting quietly in business meetings. The stresses of the day can lead some individuals to have a difficult time settling down in the evening. In essence, the stress and anxiety raises the wake drive and disturbs the balance with the sleep drive, and the person is unable to fall asleep. This can lead to insomnia.
Snoring and sleep apnea are extremely common, and patients with these conditions require proper evaluation by the health care system. The dilemma frequently encountered by the dentist wishing to offer an appliance for treatment of snoring or sleep apnea is whether there is a need for extensive testing of patients who present with a complaint of snoring. To understand the role of sleep testing, it is also important to recognize some of the physiology associated with the sleeping process.
This is an Adobe Flash™ presentation demonstrating a variety of polysomnographic abnormalities including PLMS, OSA, Upper Airway Resistance Arousal and more.
Article by Jerald H. Simmons, M.D. discussing the societal sleep problem, the role of the primary care physician and background information on sleep.
The dilemma frequently encountered by the dentist wishing to offer an appliance for treatment of snoring or sleep apnea is whether there is a need for extensive testing of patients who present with a complaint of snoring. This article describes diagnostic sleep testing in the evaluation of patients with snoring and sleep apnea.
Involuntary grinding and clenching teeth at night, known as Nocturnal Bruxism, is a significant problem for millions of Americans and can lead to a painful condition known as TMJ or TMD, Temporal Mandibular Dysfunction. It has been recognized for many years that a relationship exists between Nocturnal Bruxism and OSA. Recent research conducted by Dr. Simmons has demonstrated that 25% of patients with OSA demonstrate Nocturnal Bruxism.