AGOURA HILLS, Calif., Feb. 23, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- An Agoura Hills dentist is educating patients to the dangers of a common condition that impairs breathing during sleep. Dr. John Abajian of Artistic Smiles warns that sufferers of sleep apnea may stop breathing hundreds of times each night, a situation that can pose long-term health threats and shorten the afflicted sleeper's lifespan. "We want people to be aware of this condition so that they can seek the proper treatment, which may turn out to be as simple as a dental mouthguard that keeps the airway unobstructed," he says.
Dr. Abajian explains that the problem may occur either due to a neurological cause or physical obstruction of the airway, adding that the latter condition is the more common. He adds that the obstruction may stem from a variety of causes, including swollen adenoids, obesity, or an unconscious backward shifting of the jawbone. "Such blockages may occur over and over in the course of a single evening, and every time a blockage causes the body's oxygen levels to fall, the brain reacts by waking you up, even though you may not remember any of these interruptions the next day," says the dentist. He points out that sleep apnea may often be keenly felt in the form of persistent fatigue, headaches and depression, while the snoring commonly associated with the condition may make it difficult for others in the home to get a normal night's sleep.
Dr. Abajian states that the effects of sleep apnea extend beyond the short term, explaining that over time the recurrent oxygen deprivation and interruptions to the sleep cycle can contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure, liver disease and other serious issues. "This condition is especially dangerous for those who are recovering from major surgery under anesthesia, a situation in which respiratory function is temporarily depressed," he says.
Dr. Abajian extends hope to sleep apnea sufferers whose problems originate in their nighttime jaw position. His clinic can fit the sufferer with customized mouthguards that prevent the jaw from slipping back into a position that blocks normal breathing. Individual trays accommodate the upper and lower teeth, while a hook between the two trays controls the jaw position. "With the jaw held slightly forward, the airway remains open and the patient can enjoy normal, healthy breathing during sleep," he explains. The mouthguard is adjustable, enabling fine tuning to permit the optimal jaw spacing for healthy, comfortable sleep.
The practitioner recommends that patients experiencing telltale apnea symptoms contact his dental clinic for a consultation and possible fitting with a customized mouthguard. "This simple device can make an enormous difference," he says.
In addition to customized mouthguards, Artistic Smiles provides routine wellness checkups and dental cleanings, sedation dentistry, pediatric dentistry, pediatric care, cosmetic dental procedures, emergency dentistry and Invisalign braces for Agoura Hills patients.
CONTACT: Artistic Smiles 1-888-667-5235Source: Artistic Smiles