Friday
Apr252014

Oral Sleep Breathing Appliances, with Dr. Roger Briggs of Briggs Family Dentistry, Scottsdale, Arizona

The treatment of choice for obstructive sleep apnea is a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device.  With a compliance rate of about 40%, however, most patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea will see a dentist for an oral sleep appliance.

There are about 94 different FDA-approved oral sleep appliances to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea and these devices are prescribed by dentists, such as Dr. Roger Briggs of Briggs Family Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona.    An oral sleep appliance keeps the tongue and lower jaw from falling backward, which opens up the airway for breathing.  Dr. Briggs prescribes oral sleep appliances for his patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea and sees about an 80% compliance rate with his patients, as these devices are easier to wear and travel with than the CPAP device.

Dr. Briggs will also use dual treatment for severe patients and he finds the combination of both the oral sleep appliance and the CPAP device to be very helpful with this population of patients.

Dr. Roger Briggs is with Briggs Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Dr. Briggs is a leading dental expert with Dentist News Network, providing online, on-demand dental news video content across many dental specialties.

Tuesday
Mar262013

Importance of Routine Oral Cancer Screenings, with Dr. Roger Briggs, Scottsdale, Arizona

Oral cancer kills more women than cervical cancer and Dr. Roger Briggs, dentist with Briggs Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona, says that he has seen oral cancers grow rapidly.

Dr. Briggs says that the key to decreasing the fatality rate with oral cancer is early detection.  If caught early enough, there is an 80% survival rate and if too late, the survival rate can be as low as 3%.  The treatment for oral cancer is quite debilitating because both the head and neck are treated.

The fastest growing segment of people diagnosed with oral cancer are young, non-smokers.  At his dental practice, Dr. Briggs includes oral cancer screenings for patients as young as teenagers, as now there is a connection with the HPV virus to oral cancer.

Dr. Briggs cannot stress enough how important it is to have a yearly oral cancer screening with a dentist, as early detection is the best prevention.

Dr. Roger Briggs is with Briggs Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Dr. Briggs is a leading dental expert with Dentist News Network, providing online, on-demand dental news video content across many dental specialties.

Thursday
Feb142013

ADHD and Sleep Disorders in Children, With Dr. Roger Briggs, Scottsdale, Arizona

The number of diagnosed children with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) has increased by about 25% in the past decade and recent studies show a link between pediatric sleep disorders and the onset of ADHD.  ADHD is an attention deficit hyperactivity that is outside of the normal range about affects about 2% of children, says Dr. Roger Briggs, with Briggs Family Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona.

ADHD can be genetic, nutrition can play a role, environment can play a role, such as mercury or lead poisoning and sleep and breath factor in, says Dr. Briggs.  "Everyone knows that when a child doesn't sleep well, it affects behavior," he adds. 

Dr. Briggs says that when asleep, our brains get the opportunity to reboot and when not breathing, it impacts our hormonal system.  He can look at a 7 or 8-year-old and see how much grinding they're doing on their mature molars and see large tonsils, as that can affect the airway.  As a dentist, he can tell if the jaws aren't developing properly and if the blueprint doesn't match the size of the tongue they're given, that can push the tongue back into the airway and cause a problem.

Snoring is the most common symptom of pediatric sleep disorders.  "25-30% of all ADHD in children can be eliminated with the treatment of the airway," says Dr. Briggs.

Dr. Roger Briggs is with Briggs Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Dr. Briggs is a leading dental expert with Dentist News Network, providing online, on-demand dental news video content across many dental specialties.

Thursday
Feb142013

Obstructive Sleep Apnea, With Dr. Roger Briggs of Briggs Family Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona

Apnea means "no breath," and obstructive sleep apnea occurs when there's an obstruction in the airway, making it difficult for a person to breathe, according to Dr. Roger Briggs of Briggs Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona.  He notes that obstructive sleep apnea is now more prevalent than asthma.

For patients with obstructive sleep apnea,  the tongue and soft palate tissues get in the back of the throat and when all of the air is let out of their body, the airway collapses when they try to get air back in.  A typical episode lasts about 30 seconds, says Dr. Briggs.

If you're constantly being aroused from sleep during these episodes, while you're not fully awaken, you will not feel good the next day.  Affecting young and old, Dr. Briggs says that for the young, without enough sleep, it diminishes their brain capacity, leading to difficulty concentrating and learning.  For older patients, it changes their moods and ability to think clearly.  Dr. Briggs notes that since truck drivers have started controlling obstructive sleep apnea, daytime accidents have plummeted. 

There are cumulative effects as well, as during these episodes, harmful chemicals raise insulin levels and oxygen levels drop. This eventually leads to an increased risk for stroke and heart attacks, as well as cancer, Dr. Briggs says.

Early diagnosis is important, says Dr. Briggs and treatment can be as simple as changing a person's lifestyle, such as weight loss.

Dr. Roger Briggs is with Briggs Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Dr. Briggs is a leading dental expert with Dentist News Network, providing online, on-demand dental news video content across many dental specialties.

 

Thursday
Feb142013

Snoring and Sleep Apnea are Related, With Dr. Roger Briggs, Briggs Family Dentistry, Scottsdale, AZ

Snoring is a limit of airflow in the body and if the tissues in the back of the throat get close enough, they vibrate and cause a sound, which is snoring, says Dr. Roger Briggs of Briggs Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona.  When you limit the amount of air in your lungs, the oxygen level drops and your brain gets sent chemicals making it think you are getting strangled, he adds.

All night long, when these episodes occur one after the other, your body releases toxic chemicals because of the "fight or flight" and it does things to wake you up, which is not healthy, Dr. Briggs says.  This also causes hormonal and chemical imbalances, which create insulin, stimulants and sugars, which still linger even after taking a deep breath.  Dr. Briggs says he has patients who have these strangulation episodes up to 70-80 times an hour.

For those people who snore, about 35% of them have obstructive issues as well, such as sleep apnea.  Dentists can treat mild to moderate sleep apnea with a good quality dental appliance, says Dr. Briggs and those patients with more severe cases are treated with a CPAP (constant positive airway pressure) device from a doctor.  As the compliance level is very low with CPAP, Dr. Briggs feels that these patients are often unaware of another treatment option, such as an oral sleep appliance, prescribed by a dentist.  While an oral sleep appliance may not totally resolve sleep apnea issues in severe cases, it can cut it down to a mild or moderate range, notes Dr. Briggs.

Dr. Roger Briggs is with Briggs Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Dr. Briggs is a leading dental expert with Dentist News Network, providing online, on-demand dental news video content across many dental specialties.