Dentists across the US are attending dental continuing education courses, which teach dental professionals how to screen and treat snoring and sleep apnea, through Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT). Dental sleep medicine expert, Dr. Jeffrey Horowitz, a Sleep Group Solutions Instructor, explains the dangers of OSA, and how snoring affects the sleep partner. Dr. Horowitz’s upcoming live lectures include Miami on May 2-3, and Boston on May 16-17th, dentists and hygienists are encourage to attend.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 80 million Americans snore. Snoring, along with high blood pressure, hypertension, and daytime fatigue, are signs you may have sleep apnea. As dangerous as OSA is on an individuals health, the loud snoring also brings a negative affect on the bed partner’s health. According to a poll in USA Today, 45 percent of spouses reported that their bed-partner snores loudly, yet only 5 percent of their counterparts even admit that they snore. This is alarming, because whether it stems from denial or ignorance, the end result is anything but bliss. Dr. Jeffrey Horowitz, a Dentist serving the Myrtle Beach and Conway area, treats patients for Sleep Apnea, as well as educates other dentists on providing treatment. “I know the signs and symptoms of sleep disordered breathing and I often hear the primary complaint directly from the bed-partner.” explains Dr. Horowitz. “Let’s start with just the sound of snoring which is often louder than 60 decibels. For reference, a pneumatic drill is the equivalent of 70 decibels. Imagine sleeping next to a pneumatic drill!”
Aside from the physical and emotional side effects of lack of sleep, one major concern for the bed partner is hearing loss with continued exposure to snoring. “What concerns me the most is when faced with a partner who is snoring loudly, bed-partners will respond in one of two ways. They will either tough it out, resulting in significant sleep deprivation with physiological consequences, or move to another bed which can have serious long-term emotional consequences on a relationship.” says Dr. Horowitz.
When discussing sleep disordered breathing, many of the presenting symptoms revolve around sleep deprivation. The lack of oxygen in the apnea patient is a primary concern; however this also leads to arousals, and disruption of the normal sleep cycle. When sleep cycles are disrupted, so too is critical hormone regulation, which ultimately can affect mood, hunger, insulin dynamics, and many other body systems. Daytime fatigue ensues, which can mimic legal alcohol intoxication with 4 hours or less of quality sleep. Both the snorer, and the sufferer, are affected.
For Dentists looking to learn more about Sleep Disordered Breathing, log onto sleepgs.com, or attend a lecture with Dr. Horowitz. His upcoming lectures include Miami on May 2-3, and Boston on May 16-17th. For the snorers, please take your bed-partner’s concerns seriously. Treating sleep disordered breathing is not difficult. Doing so can not only add 12-15 years to your life, but improve the quality of your relationship as you live.
About Dr. Jeff Horowitz
Dr. Jeff Horowitz, a native of Old Bridge, New Jersey, completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh , receiving early admission to dental school after his junior year. In 1991 he earned his Doctorate of Dental Medicine degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr Horowitz has dedicated himself to continuing education, earning him the fellowship award from the Academy of General Dentistry, Mentorship status at the prestigious Kois Center for Advanced Dental Studies, and fellowship in the Pierre Fauchard Academy. Dr. Horowitz is also a member of the American Association of Dental Sleep Medicine.