Did you know that approximately 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder? And of this 70 million, an estimated 80 percent are undiagnosed? And it’s likely that these individuals will remain undiagnosed for the rest of their lives.
Most sleep disorders have an underlying airway dysfunction preventing them from getting into the deeper stages of sleep. This airway issue causes disordered breathing, which periodically wakes them up. Most of the time a person with disordered breathing doesn’t fully wake up and therefore is unaware their sleep is interrupted.
Not getting all your stages of sleep throughout the night prevents your body from completing very important healing and recovery functions. During REM Sleep Toxins are removed from the brain through the glymphatic System and the blood-brain barrier becomes less porous keeping out infections and toxins. With restful sleep and proper oxygenation, inflammation is reduced, endothelial function is improved, oxidative stress is reduced and the sympathetic nervous system calms down. Poor non restorative sleep can cause gut issues, an impaired immune system, and mood consequences like anxiety and depression. Over time, if they continue to go night after night without these deep stages of sleep it can lead to a downward spiral of health consequences.
Now, you might be thinking, “But I don’t snore!”
You don’t have to snore or be overweight to suffer from sleep-disordered breathing. While snoring is a hallmark symptom of sleep-disordered breathing, you might not snore or be aware that you snore. In fact, that’s a common misconception that keeps people from getting the help they need to correct sleep disordered breathing.
Why are airway issues so common?
Have you ever wondered why it’s so common to have wisdom teeth removed?
It’s because our faces are narrowing.
Our health relies on proper facial development, which is dependent on correct oral posture and silent nasal breathing as children. Due to food allergies, inflammation, and epigenetic factors, we are seeing a higher prevalence of enlarged tonsils, adenoids, and narrower, retruded jaws. This causes the upper and lower jaws to be pushed in, the nostrils are pinched, and teeth are crooked.
Development of the face starts during pregnancy through proper nutrition, then proper nasal breathing and tongue posture through breastfeeding. It’s important this information becomes common knowledge to prevent airway issues from infancy.
Signs of sleep disorder in breathing
To find out if you are one of the 5.6 million Americans with disordered breathing examine the following symptoms. Do you experience:
- Teeth grinding
- Cold intolerance
- Brain fog
- Scalloped tongue
- Daytime fatigue
- Falling asleep during the day or extremely quickly at night
If you have any other these symptoms, you should consider the possibility that you have sleep disordered breathing. But if you grind your teeth or have TMJ, know that you have an even higher chance of having poor quality sleep due to interrupted breathing.
“On average, one in four adult dental patients is at risk of, or has, Sleep Disordered Breathing.” – Len Liptak, CEO of ProSomnus Sleep Technologies
If you have sleep apnea, TMJ or grind your teeth at night, it’s probably been addressed with a simple mouthguard or stent.
The problem with mouth guards and stents are that they can obstruct the airway, sometimes contributing to the issue. Additionally, these are simply Band-Aids and don’t address the root cause. Without improving your breathing, you won’t get better sleep, which is critical for improving all other symptoms such as teeth grinding, TMJ, anxiety, and more.
Or worse, you haven’t addressed it at all.
In the case that you’ve not addressed your sleep disordered breathing at all, I urge you to make an appointment with your dentist who specializes in airway function. You can request a consultation at one of our two offices here.
The ACG System is the only device that addresses the root cause
Over the past 27 years of helping patients with airway issues, I developed a system that fully addressed their breathing problems. You see, I initially was frustrated that there was no true solution to my patient’s airway issues and so I designed the ACG System.
To create an effective response, the solution had to be focused on improving the airway. The ACG System is an innovative day and night solutions for improving sleep disordered breathing in patients, including those who have temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ & TMD) and bruxism (teeth grinding).
The ACG System was developed with the help of ProSomnus to address daytime and nighttime complaints of exhausted patients.
Ask your dentist about the ACG System. This system gives dentists a new set of tools to examine and support the function of their patient’s airway, which offer lifelong benefits.