Sleep Disordered Breathing

Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) is becoming increasingly recognized as a chronic disorder of dysfunctional breathing during sleep. Fortunately for our patients, Dr. Chisler completed dental sleep medicine training through the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. In the program participants engage with world-renowned experts through clinical case-based learning, literature review and workshops to expand their understanding of dental sleep medicine and the connection between sleep medicine, dental sleep medicine and TMD. Upon completion of the program, Dr. Chris passed his dental sleep medicine board to become a diplomat of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) in November 2020. Here is what that means for our patients!

Each patient receives an oral airway exam at their dental preventive appointments. This exam begins with a thorough clinical evaluation of the structures of the mouth that relate to your airway – including the teeth, lips, tongue, palate, muscles, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) otherwise known as the mandible (lower jaw) and temporal bone (side and base of the skull). In this screening we are looking for any physical characteristics such as enlarged tonsils, crowded and misaligned teeth, grinding, tooth erosion and insufficient jaw development that can cause upper airway resistance and restricting nasal breathing. Additionally, we may take pictures, models of your teeth, or an X-ray called a cone beam to further assess how much airway volume you have. These steps help us determine if soft tissue such as an elongated soft palate, tonsils, or nasal turbinates need further review by an ENT.

Upon completion of your evaluation, we will discuss the symptoms commonly associated with sleep disordered breathing and sleep apnea that may be associated with our clinical findings. Symptoms may include headaches, teeth grinding, daytime sleepiness, anxiety, snoring, and difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep. From there, you can share these symptoms with your primary care doctor to help assist in getting a complete and thorough diagnosis for your care. We can even work with your medical care team to find out if a dental solution is right for you. Sometimes treatment can be as simple as a dental appliance which may help in relieving some of your symptoms and help you get the restorative sleep you need.