US ARMY SLEEP APNEA RESEARCH SUPPORTS ORAL APPLIANCE USE; Phoenix Dentist Dr. Don Wilcox

Glendale Dentist Serving Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria, and nearby areas in Arizona

Patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may consider adjustable oral appliances (OAs) as an effective first-line treatment.  This is according to two studies by sleep specialists from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.  Published in the December 2011 issue  of CHEST, the official journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, and the current issue of the JOURNAL OF CLINICAL SLEEP MEDICINE, the official journal of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. These findings are from the largest patient populations studied to date.  Studies showed adjustable oral appliances (like the ones we make here at the Arizona Center for Dental Sleep Medicine in Glendale, Az.) are nearly as effective as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment for patients with a mild form of OSA and are more effective than fixed oral appliances, in patients with moderate to severe OSA. "Historically, CPAP has been the primary treatment of OSA, but only half of patients tolerate this therapy, which requires wearing a face mask hooked to a machine each night," said Lt. Col. Christopher Lettieri, M.D., one of the authors and an Army medical director and chief of sleep medicine at Walter Reed.  "This new data offers a fresh look at adjustable oral appliances as an initial treatment of OSA in both the military and civilian sectors." Estimates of the number of people in the USA range from 18-40 million.  OSA can cause daytime sleepiness and has been linked to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, gastric reflux and diabetes.  At our Phoenix dentist office we offer oral appliance solutions for sleep apnea and snoring, and those intolerant to wearing CPAP.  For more information regarding dental mouthpiece solutions for snoring and sleep apnea visit www.DesertSmiles.com.