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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.  

Friday
Mar072014

How to Treat Snoring, With Dr. Rich Gillespie, Gillespie Dentistry, Vancouver, Washington

Snoring is a vibration of the tissues in the throat.  As the tissues get larger and get closer together, they vibrate as we breathe in and the vibration is what creates the noise, says Dr. Rich Gillespie, of Gillespie Dentistry, in Vancouver, Washington.  He adds that 45% of men and 30% of women snore on a regular basis and the older we get and the more weight we gain, the more tendency we have to snore.  The tissues thicken up with weight and as we age, the tissues lose tone and droop, causing the vibration.

Snoring used to be a social concern but we know now that the noise isn't just the problem, says Dr. Gillespie.  It an create a thickness in the carotid arteries of the neck, for example, which can lead to strokes and heart disease.  Dr. Gillespie says that not everyone who snores has sleep apnea but they are moving in that direction.

An oral appliance can treat the snoring, which is used to stabilize the lower jaw and prevent a collapse so the tissues don't get close enough to vibrate.  It keeps the airway open to prevent snoring.  The oral appliance prescribed by a dentist is different from the ones purchased over the counter.  While they're the same in principal, the ones custom-made by a dentist are more durable, well-made and longer lasting.

Friday
Mar072014

Snoring in Children, With Dr. Rich Gillespie, Gillespie Dentistry, Vancouver, Washington

Snoring is never normal, but particularly in a child, it's especially alarming and usually a symptom of a constricted or obstructed airway, says Dr. Rich Gillespie, of Gillespie Dentistry in Vancouver, Washington.

Dr. Gillespie says that we want children to have oxygen and we see so many behavioral issues and health issues because children aren't getting air to their brains.  The cause of constriction is often enlarged tonsils and adenoids, which is addressed by an ENT specialist, or a constricted upper jaw, so there's no room for air to get to the nose.

The treatment options for children include surgery to remove the tonsils and adenoids or orthodontics to widen the upper jaw.  Dr. Gillespie says that over 80% of children who have a correction of their airway, have their snoring go away.

There is an association between ADHD and sleep apnea in children, as Dr. Gillespie says that we have kids with stunted growth having behavioral problems, not performing well at school.  When children are not getting enough oxygen to their brain, nothing works well, Dr. Gillespie says.

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

Friday
Mar072014

Sleep Apnea Symptoms & Treatment, With Dr. Rich Gillespie, Gillespie Dentistry, Vancouver, Washington

Sleep apnea is a closure of the airway and obstructive sleep apnea is when the airway is blocked by the tongue when it settles in the back of the throat.  It occurs when we move into deeper stages of sleep and when the tissues collapse and block our breathing, says Dr. Rich Gillespie, of Gillespie Dentistry in Vancouver, Washington.

In the extreme, these blockages can occur one hundred times per night and can last 10 seconds to more than one minute, until we partially awake, which then opens the airway.  These arousals may be accompanied by gasping, coughing or even gagging, says Dr. Gillespie.

Some of the symptoms of sleep apnea inclue a marginal increase in blood pressure, sleepiness during the day, headaches upon waking in the morning, mood swings, poor memory and a decreased interest in sexual relationships, according to Dr. Gillespie.

Dr. Gillespie says that some of the major concerns with sleep apnea include long-term increase in blood pressure, heart disease with risk of stroke, diabetes because the poor sleep creates chemical imbalances, weight gain, adult asthma and fibromyalgia.

In addition to getting one's history, sleep apnea is diagnosed by a sleep study at a sleep lab or a home sleep test.  The testing measures how many times per night the throat closes and how many times you awake at night.  It also sees what the snoring is like.  Dr. Gillespie has a physician in consultation to make the determination that indeed there is fragmented sleep occurring. 

Dr. Gillespie says that the main treatment options for sleep apnea are a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device or an oral appliance.  A physician prescribes a CPAP, which is a mask placed on the nose or mouth that creates a stream of air down the throat that stops the tissues from collapsing.  While Dr. Gillespie says it's considered the gold standard of treatment, it is difficult to wear by many.  A dentist can make an oral appliance, which, similar to the action of CPR, will advance the jaw to open the airway.  There is an upper and lower part which stablilizes the lower jaw so it doesn't collapse and block the airway.

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

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