Dental Sleep Medicine

SLEEP is one of the most important things we as human beings must do and an essential component along with good nutrition and exercise to optimal health.  Sleep provides the physical and emotional renewal we require and is interwoven with every facet of our health, productivity, and well being including; energy, emotions, moods swings, behavior, marriage stability, employment factors, our very sanity and happiness. We are created to spend one third of our precious lives sleeping.  If you try to sleep less hours a day, because you think it is a waste of time, you may end up with multiple illnesses, mental disabilities, or a shorter life expectancy before reaching your goal. 
                                                    SLEEP IS ESSENTIAL FOR LIFE!"

While there are many factors why we may not have a good night sleep, such as worries and depression, many people cannot have a peaceful sleep because their sleep is under attack by other forces, such as loud snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.  When we sleep, our body relaxes its legs, arms, face, neck, nerves, muscles, and also relaxes the soft tissues in the oral region such as the uvula, soft palate, tonsils, adenoid tissue and tongue.  If these muscles relax too much and the tongue falls back too far, it narrows the airway and causes various sleep-related breathing disorders.  

If you have such disorders you may experience loud snoring, choking and gasping while asleep.  While asleep, you may also suffer from difficulty in breathing, shallow sleep and multiple arousals.  This can contribute to an un-refreshed feeling in the morning, daytime sleepiness, morning headache and chronic fatigue.  According to many clinical studies and observations, un-treated sleep breathing disorders, especially Obstructive Sleep Apnea, can cause serious health problems: cardiovascular complications, high blood pressure, worsening diabetes, gastro-esophageal-reflex-disease (GERD), stroke, and sudden death during sleep. 

Dental Sleep Medicine is relativelty new exciting dental-medical field and the dentist is becoming an integral part of the "sleep team". It focuses on the management of sleep breathing disorders which includes snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), with Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT).  Dental Sleep Medicine is practiced by dentist, however, is more than general dentistry.  Dr. Forsmark has taken many hours of continuing education in the study of Dental Sleep Medicine, has extended knowledge and hands-on training.  Plus, he is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.  It is extremely gratifying to help an astonishing 50-70 million Americans who are experiencing sleep-related breathing disorders to breath better, sleep better, and to see their quality of life improve greatly by providing an effective and comfortable treatment modality.  

A dental-medical team such as Dr. Forsmark, your family physician and a sleep physician can screen, diagnose, and treat OSA. This synergistic relationship between dentistry and medicine allows for a broader and more varied approach, leading to a resolution of the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. Please let us know if you think that you or someone you know is suffering from sleep apnea, even if you are not sure. We can screen you with a clinical evaluation and simple home sleep test. The diagnosis of the potentially life-threatening medical disorder such as Obsrtuctive Sleep Apnea must be diagnosed by a sleep physician. 

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