Snoring has long been considered an inconvenience, but increasingly it is becoming clear that it can lead to major health problems. Snoring loudly is often a sign of sleep-disordered breathing – a condition from which millions of men, women and children suffer.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates that about 50 percent of people who snore loudly have obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when the tongue and soft tissue block the airway during sleep, and can contribute to a higher risk of a laundry list of problems, including high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, depression, memory and concentration problems, obesity, excessive daytime sleepiness and car accidents.
Research over the past few decades has advanced treatment of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders a great deal. Even more recently, the discovery that dentistry can play a role in sleep medicine led to the rise of Sleep Disorders Dentistry (SDD). These advancements are just another indication of how oral health plays a vital role in overall health. Through a combination of oral appliances and dental surgery, SDD provides new ways to treat sleep-disordered breathing, the larger categorization of disorders such as sleep apnea.
Patterson Dental sees the value in SDD research, and is taking an active role in the industry by partnering with Airway Management, Inc. and its line of TAP® products. By aiming to alleviate the problems caused by snoring and sleep apnea, TAP and all SDD products also aim to improve the health and quality of life of those who suffer from sleep-disordered breathing.
SDD is a new approach to medicine, but it has already shown that it improves lives. There’s no better way to strengthen the tie between oral health and overall health than to see products like TAP in action.