At Long Island Dental Sleep Medicine, we are proud of our continuing commitment to the field of dental sleep medicine. Drs. Rein and Seltzer remain dedicated to education and research, and are both an active part of a distinguished group of only a select few Diplomates of the Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. While maintaining their practice, they also serve as consultants to several New York area hospital-based sleep centers and work closely with other local private sleep centers.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is when breathing stops temporarily as a person sleeps. More than 12 million Americans are affected by sleep apnea. There are three types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type. It is caused by the airway being blocked, usually by soft tissue in the rear of the throat, causing the throat to collapse and close during sleep.
- Central sleep apnea is when the muscles that control breathing fail to receive the proper signals from the brain.
- Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
No matter what type of sleep apnea a person has, those with untreated sleep apnea repeatedly stop breathing throughout their sleep. The brain will respond by waking the individual so that breathing may resume, but the frequent stops and starts throughout the night results in very fragmented patterns of low-quality sleep.
Overweight men over 40 have the highest risk of developing sleep apnea, but anyone at any age can suffer from sleep apnea, including children. Unfortunately, the majority of people who suffer from this sleep disorder go left untreated due to lack of awareness.
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
Your doctor will use a combination of factors to diagnose sleep apnea, including a complete medical and family history, a physical exam and a sleep study, which involves an overnight stay at a sleep center for constant monitoring. A polysomnogram may also be used to record brain activity, eye movement, muscle movement, heart rate, breathing patterns and oxygen levels, which will help determine whether or not a person has sleep apnea.
What treatment options are there?
Treatments vary depending on the severity of a person’s sleep apnea. For milder cases, mere lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking or losing weight may be beneficial in improving the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. More severe cases of sleep apnea can be treated in a variety of ways from the use of certain devices such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices, to surgery.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases, as well as weight gain, memory loss, impotency and headaches. In addition, untreated sleep apnea causes severe fatigue, which may lead to poor job performance and motor vehicle crashes.
At Long Island Dental Sleep Medicine, Drs. Rein and Seltzer remain on the forefront of sleep apnea treatment and dental sleep medicine. We would be happy to schedule a consultation for you, during which we will advise you of the best treatment option for your symptoms. Please call us today to set up an office consultation.
Our entire staff is committed to research and learning about the latest dental techniques available to treat our patients. Constantly attending continuing education courses in all aspects of dentistry and sleep medicine has kept us at the leading edge of technology and skill. From basic needs to complex cases, each patient is treated with individualized care.
Dear Dr. Seltzer, I wish to express my appreciation for the dental device which has dramatically diminished my problem with sleep apnea. I woke with vision and vigor and my quality of life has substantially improved. I unconditionally endorse this device and the dentist who treated me. –Howard B.