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sleep disordered breathing

Dental Sleep Medicine

An estimated 30 million Americans snore. Of those who do snore, many already have or likely will develop obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or sleep disordered breathing.


Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS)

Approximately 18 million Americans suffer from Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea is a disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. The frequent interruptions of deep, restorative sleep often lead to excessive daytime sleepiness and other serious conditions.

The Sleep Apnea cycle

When obstructive sleep apnea occurs, the tongue is sucked against the back of the throat. This blocks the upper airway, stopping air flow into the lungs, and oxygen levels begin to drop in the brain. This partially awakens the sleeping person, allowing the obstruction in the throat to clear and starting air flow back into the lungs, usually with a loud gasp. This process is disruptive to the sleep cycle and has been associated with cardiovascular problems and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Common symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea:

  • Irritability or changes in behavior
  • Morning headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Night sweats
  • Heartburn
  • Nocturia (frequent night-time urination)
  • Restless sleep

Obstructive Sleep Apnea can cause:

  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Increased risk of heart disease and heart attack
  • Depression
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • High blood pressure
  • Weight gain
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Social/marital problems

Determine Your Risk

The only way to be sure if you have obstructive sleep apnea is to have a sleep test from a qualified sleep physician or in a hospital sleep center. To determine if you are at risk for obstructive sleep apnea, take this simple screening test to determine if you should be evaluated:

Epworth Sleep Scale » A score of 9 or above on this test is an indication that you should see your doctor.


Treatment for Sleep Apnea

The most common treatment for sleep apnea disorders is CPAP, (Continuous Positive Air Pressure). Dr. Durden works closely with sleep specialists for many of our patients that suffer from OSA to design an oral appliance to use alone or in conjunction with CPAP.

oral appliance for sleep apnea

Oral appliances are devices similar to sport mouthguards and are associated with better comfort than CPAP for many people. Oral appliances can be also used as first-line treatment for primary snoring that is not associated with obstructive sleep apnea.


If you believe you or a loved one suffers from Sleep Apnea, Contact Us. We would be happy to assist you in obtaining a referral to a sleep center and discuss options related to your care.



American Academy of Craniofacial Pain

Dr. Phillip Durden is a Fellow of the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain which requires a minimum of 300 head, neck, craniofacial pain and TMJ patients and advanced study and training through a minimum of 500 hours of continuing education courses in the field.

Long Awaited Relief: Dr. Durden Focuses on TMJ Disorders, Sleep Disorders and Craniofacial Pain  Featured in "Southern Distinction" magazine Feb 2011

Headaches: Sleep Apnea and the Oral Connection  Featured in "Southern Distinction" magazine April 2012

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