Do you see patients with the following conditions?
There may be an underlying issue: sleep apnea
Past studies have shown that having tongue scalloping can positively predict the presence of apneas or hypopneas and oxygen desaturation in 89% of cases. Overall, having scalloping is about 70 sensitive in picking up obstructive sleep apnea.
Abfractions are non-carious cervical lesions caused by flexural forces, usually from cyclic loading; the enamel, especially at the cementoenamel junction, undergoes this pattern of destruction by separating the enamel rods. Studies show that abfractions are also common in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Nocturnal bruxism plays a major role.
GERD is a condition caused by acid backing up into the esophagus. GERD and sleep apnea often coincide. Research suggests that the backup of stomach acid in GERD may produce spasms in the vocal cords (larynx), thereby blocking the flow of air to the lungs and causing apnea. Or, apnea itself may cause pressure changes that trigger GERD.
A number of health issues are linked to the condition, such as stress and teeth misalignment, but one of the biggest risk factors is a serious condition called obstructive sleep apnea. This occurs when the throat muscles relax during the night, blocking the airway and interrupting breathing. Nearly one in four people with obstructive sleep apnea grind their teeth at night, and men are more likely to be affected.
Learn more about identifying sleep apnea chairside and managing all your sleep apnea patients by attending an online CE seminar with HST America and Dr. Marty Lipsey, from Medical Billing for Dentists. See our upcoming sleep seminar dates below, of if you’re already treating sleep apnea patients, you can always send us patients for testing:
HST America is dedicated to helping dentists implement a sleep program through our innovative ‘zero-dollar sleep protocol’ and concierge home sleep testing services. To learn more about our Success in Sleep seminars, view our video below.