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Dr. Rich Gillespie Vancouver, Washington of Gillespie Dentistry

Phone: 360-892-6132
Fax: 360-892-0297
Email: team@gillespiedentistry.com

Cascade Park
13200 SE McGillivray
Vancouver, WA 98683

Dr. Richard Gillespie graduated from Brigham Young University in 1975 and completed his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1979 from the University of Illinois.  He served three years in the US Air Force stationed in Denver, CO. prior to partnering with his brother, Dr. Steve Gillespie, in Vancouver, WA.  Dr. Rich and his wife, Ann, are the parents of five children and 16 grandchildren.

Many years of post-graduate, continuing education which included implants and full mouth reconstruction prepared Dr. Rich to provide the finest of care to his community.  Currently, his emphasis is diagnosing and treating sleep disordered breathing, which includes snoring and sleep apnea.  

Monday
Oct132014

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea, with Dr. Rich Gillespie, Vancouver, Washington

For those who snore and might suspect they have sleep apnea, the first step would be speaking with a dentist, as they're familiar with the airway and they can refer you to a sleep center for further testing and a diagnosis.  Before any treatment is done, a proper diagnosis needs to be received, says Dr. Rich Gillespie, a dentist in Vancouver, Washington with Gillespie Dentistry.  In addition to a dentist, your primary care physician can refer you to a sleep center as well.  

While a sleep center is the most thorough in their testing, there are home sleep tests that can be done in the comfort of one's own home and are also acceptable ways in determining a diagnosis.  In terms of treatment, when speaking with a physician, they will most likely discuss the CPAP device.  Less known and just as successful is the oral appliance that stabilizes the mandible and maintains the airway open, Dr. Gillespie says.

The CPAP and oral appliance can be used together in severe cases and they can also be substituted.  Dr. Gillespie says that 80% of CPAP users would still prefer an oral appliance because of its portability and ease of wear.

Dr. Rich Gillespie is a dentist and leading sleep expert with Sleep Better TV, a featured network of Sequence Media Group.  Sleep Better TV provides online, on-demand, sleep breathing disorder video content.  For more information on Dr. Gillespie, click here.

Monday
Oct132014

Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea, With Dr. Rich Gillespie, Vancouver, Washington

For those with sleep apnea, there are different types of treatments available.  The first option is the CPAP device, or continuous positive airway pressure, which is the gold standard of treatment, according to Dr. Rich Gillespie, a dentist in Vancouver, Washington with Gillespie Dentistry.  Worn as a mask at night, it blows air down the nose and throat to keep the tissues open.  Dr. Gillespie says that another treatment option is surgery, however it is rarely successful, unless there is an abundance of tissue in the way.  

An oral appliance, providing an exciting third option, stabilizes the mandible and maintains the opening of the airway, or continuous open airway therapy.  For those with sleep apnea, sleeping on their backs can be difficult, as that's the position where the tissues most often will collapse.  Dr. Gillespie, who wears an oral appliance himself, says that sleeping on your side is an excellent position in which to sleep.

Dr. Rich GillespieAs patients with sleep apnea begin to sleep better by responding to treatment, weight loss is a component of this as well because weight around the neck can close off the airway.  Sleep "hygiene" is also important, Dr. Gillespie says, which includes sleeping the dark and only in your room, and not drinking any alcohol before bed for example, as this all can assist one in getting better sleep.

Dr. Rich Gillespie is a dentist and leading sleep expert with Sleep Better TV, a featured network of Sequence Media Group.  Sleep Better TV provides online, on-demand, sleep breathing disorder video content.  For more information on Dr. Gillespie, click here.

Thursday
Oct092014

Sleep Apnea Symptoms, With Dr. Rich Gillespie, Vancouver, Washington

While snoring is one of the main symptoms of sleep apnea, there are others that people should be aware of as well.  Once one recognizes that sleep apnea may be a problem, hypertension is noticed as one of the first causes seen because of the stresses during the night, says Dr. Rich Gillespie, a dentist in Vancouver, Washington with Gillespie Dentistry.  

Heartburn, or GERD, is also often seen in patients with sleep apnea in the morning, in addition to morning headaches.  Dr. Gillespie says that memory loss and depression is common and that sleep apnea patients find themselves waking up multiple times during the night to use the bathroom.  

Dr. Rich GillespieFor those that are overweight, there can be an underlying sleep issue, notes Dr. Gillespie.  Weight will complicate the throat closure of sleep apnea but once you begin to gain weight, you're not sleeping well and then it becomes difficult to lose the weight.  Once the airway is no longer restricted at night, it becomes easier to lose the weight.  

Once sleep apnea is under control, Dr. Gillespie will see his patients become more energized because they're sleeping better and are more effectively able to discipline themselves and exercise.

Dr. Rich Gillespie is a dentist and leading sleep expert with Sleep Better TV, a featured network of Sequence Media Group.  Sleep Better TV provides online, on-demand, sleep breathing disorder video content.  For more information on Dr. Gillespie, click here.

Wednesday
Oct082014

Snoring Main Symptom of Sleep Apnea, With Dr. Rich Gillespie, Vancouver, Washington

There are many symptoms of sleep apnea, with snoring being the biggest one and it's usually the bed partner who recognizes this.  Considerable daytime fatigue is another big symptom, even after a long night sleep.  These are the two biggest indicators of possible sleep apnea, says Dr. Rich Gillespie, a dentist in Vancouver, Washington with Gillespie Dentistry.

Dr. Rich GillespieWhile snoring isnt' always associated with sleep apnea, Dr. Gillespie says it is a big predictor.  If someone is snoring, he says it's something that definitely needs to be investigated because it's probably moving in the direction of something more serious.  

With snoring, the tissue in the back of the throat vibrates making a sound.  As it becomes more severe, the throat will actually close during the night, causing a suffocation and depending on the number of times the throat closes during the night will determine the severity of the sleep apnea.  

Dr. Rich Gillespie is a dentist and leading sleep expert with Sleep Better TV, a featured network of Sequence Media Group.  Sleep Better TV provides online, on-demand, sleep breathing disorder video content.  For more information on Dr. Gillespie, click here.

Wednesday
Oct082014

How a CPAP Device Compares to an Oral Appliance to Treat Sleep Apnea, With Dr. Rich Gillespie, Vancouver, Washington

When diagnosed with sleep apnea, CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, is often prescribed as the course of treatment however, it's rarely tolerated.  Most of the time, it's just the idea of having something on your face while sleeping that can be a deterrant for people, says Dr. Rich Gillespie, a dentist in Vancouver, Washington with Gillespse Dentistry.  

Dr. Rich GillespieBeyond that, some people have trouble with the mask fitting to their face or nose, there's noise associated with the CPAP which can disturb them or their bed partner, it limits their movement and they must remain sleep on their backs, the head gear that's worn to keep the mask in place can be uncomfortable, there can be pressure on the face or an allergy to the latex.  All of these are just some of the issues that can make wearing a CPAP device uncomfortable for people to wear.

For those who cannot tolerate a CPAP device, an oral appliance provides a good alternative.  Dr. Gillespie says that it's like a mouth guard but is thinner and fits better and instead of blowing air down the throat like the CPAP device, it uses COAT therapy, or continuous open airway therapy, to maintain the mandible in a forward position and keeps the tongue out of the back of the throat to keep the airway open.  

For those considering both options, Dr. Gillespie says that one can choose an oral appliance right away over a CPAP device.  Because of the years of use and its success, the medical community recognizes that an oral appliance is a "premiere alternative" and can be the first choice in treatment of sleep apnea.  

Dr. Rich Gillespie is a dentist and leading sleep expert with Sleep Better TV, a featured network of Sequence Media Group.  Sleep Better TV provides online, on-demand, sleep breathing disorder video content.  For more information on Dr. Gillespie, click here.