The negative effects of sleep apnea on medical conditions

Untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has so many negative effects on various medical conditions. You might have heard it already and shared this information with your patients, but untreated OSA can be deadly. By providing your patients with up-to-date information on the negative effects of sleep apnea and the importance of treatment, you can help them take charge of their health and well-being.

The infographic below can be shared with your patients or hung up in your office to share more information about the negative effects of sleep apnea on various medical conditions.


By providing your patients with this information, you can help them better understand the negative effects of sleep apnea on their overall health. These medical conditions should not be ignored. Contact me today if you have further questions on the medical conditions connected to sleep apnea and how you can help your patients.

Attend these dental sleep medicine, pain lectures before summer

Before you know it, summer will be here. While there are dental sleep medicine and craniofacial pain lectures all year long, we have some you might want to join before summer begins. I understand that summer is the time to travel and explore with your family. But why not get a few lectures in under your belt before jet setting across the world?

To help you get a better idea of what lectures are out there, I have put together a few for you to explore before June. Here they are:

March 29, 2019

Topic: Sleep disordered breathing and orofacial pain

Location: Chicago, IL


April 5-6, 2019

Topic: UNC Dental Sleep Mini Residency Session 3.

Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 


April 26-27, 2019

Topic: The Appliance Course for Dental Sleep Medicine & TMD.

Location: Atlanta, Georgia. 


May 10-11, 2019

Topic: TMJ for the dental sleep practice & Injections/Botox.

Location: New York, New York.


May 17-18, 2019

Topic: Sleep & Pain Mini Residency 3 Session 2.

Location: Atlanta, Georgia.


I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming lecture! Please let me know if you have any questions about these dental sleep medicine and craniofacial pain lectures. See you soon!

Air pollution might increase the risk of sleep apnea

We already struggle with global warming and air pollution harming our environment and the animals that live in it. But, what is making matters even worse is that air pollution is also increasing our patients’ risk of sleep apnea. So, what do we do with this? Hold your breath? No, that is never a good solution.

According to new research published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, the ill effects of air pollution may be causing some people to lose sleep. Martha E. Billings, MD, MSc, and co-authors of “The Association of Ambient Air Pollution with Sleep Apnea: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis,” there is a link between obstructive sleep apnea and increases in two of the most common air pollutants: fine particulate pollution, known as PM2.5, and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a traffic-related pollutant.

Odds of sleep apnea increase

Given that air pollution causes airway irritation, swelling and congestion, it appears that it was detrimental to sleep. It also might affect the parts of the brain and central nervous system that control breathing patterns and sleep.

Researchers used air pollution measurements gathered from hundreds of MESA Air and Environmental Protection Agency monitoring sites in six U.S. cities, plus local environment features and sophisticated tools. In doing this, they were able to estimate air pollution exposures at each participant’s home.

After conducting this study, the researchers found that a participant’s odds of having sleep apnea increased by:

  • 60 percent for each 5 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) increase in yearly PM5 exposure.
  • 39 percent for each 10 parts per billion increase in yearly NO2.

To summarize the study, air quality improvements may have an unrecognized benefit: better sleep health. Understanding the risk of sleep apnea and air pollution is important to helping your patients.

How to help your patients with complications of TMD

While painful, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) refer to a cluster of conditions that are often characterized by pain in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or its surrounding tissues. The surrounding tissues might include the neck, head and even shoulders. Conditions involving the TMJ are so common among the adult population that up to 75 percent show at least one sign of TMD upon examination. To help your patients reduce or eliminate their pain, let’s take a look at some of the complications of TMD and how to educate your patients.

What are the other complications of TMD?

Evidence continues to be available about TMD and how it can be worsened by other conditions. Today, it has been shown that anxiety, stress, and other emotional disturbances may worsen TMD. Some of the common signs of TMD include:

  • Jaw pain.
  • Limited or painful jaw movements.
  • Headaches.
  • Neck pain or stiffness.
  • Clicking or grating within the joint.
  • Inability to open mouth without pain.

About 55 percent of patients with chronic headaches who receive referrals to a neurologist actually have signs of TMD. Without the education on TMD, patients are overlooking signs and symptoms and are missing treatment. As a dentist, you can put an end to the misdiagnosis of TMD by completing further education. You can also educate your patients on self-care techniques and referral for non-invasive treatment.

TMD treatment can help

Signs and symptoms of TMD improve over time with at-home care, and with oral appliance therapy from the dental office. Previous studies have even show that as many as 50 percent of patients improve in one year and 85 percent improve completely in three years.

Encourage conservative treatment before considering any invasive options. It is important to treat your patients properly without causing further complications.

Contact my office to learn more about TMD and available treatment options, as well as upcoming lectures for continuing your education.