In this report, Dr. Ron Goldstein, a dentist in Mississauga (greater Toronto), Canada with Dr. Ron Goldstein and Associates, discusses snoring and sleep apnea.
Dr. Goldstein says that snoring is mostly a bad thing when it comes to health. Mild snoring can occur without apnea, and some people with apnea do not snore. However, the two things are usually associated.
Often, it is a bed partner who reports the snoring problem. (In many cases, the partner is in a different bed, which is certainly a social problem.) The partner may report that the patient stops breathing during snoring episodes and actually counts how many seconds the episodes last. Snoring causes sleep problems for both partners.
The first step in determining if sleep apnea is the problem is to do a home test. Dr. Goldstein notes that some of the things that are checked in a lab test are not really necessary for a diagnosis of sleep apnea. For example, when someone’s head is wired, the purpose is to read brain waves to see what stage of sleep someone is getting into. If one’s sleep is interrupted so that deep sleep is not reached, that will show up.
However, in the home test that Dr. Goldstein would do, the testing discloses the volume of snoring, any cessation of breathing, attempts to breathe, blood oxygen level, and pulse rate. That test provides all the data required to diagnose the problem.
As Dr. Goldstein repeats, indentations on the side of the tongue (scalloping) is strongly indicative of sleep apnea. This will lead to a discussion of a patient’s sleeping: getting to sleep, getting enough sleep, awakening rested, snoring, etc. This may lead to home testing. Once sleep apnea has been diagnosed, treatment can proceed. Some people do not want to use a CPAP device. Many times, a dentist can offer a more appealing option by using a dental appliance. These items are comfortable, wearable, and very portable.
Dr. Ron Goldstein graduated in 1971 from the University of Toronto with B.Sc. and D.D.S. degrees. He is an expert in sleep apnea issues and treatment, and he spoke with Sleep Better TV, providing online sleep breathing disorder video news content. Sleep Better TV is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.