For as long as he could remember, 36-year-old Frank* struggled to sleep. He was also severely overweight and found it difficult even to walk.
Frank wasn’t aware that his health issues could stem from something as trivial as his bad sleep quality. However, studies show that if we don’t breathe well during sleep, we increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular issues.
A visit to the doctor revealed that Frank suffered from sleep apnea. Usually, experts use an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) scale to gauge whether you have a sleep disorder and, if so, how serious it is. Frank’s AHI scale was 68. Studies show that an AHI of 68 meant that in 10-15 years, the chances of survival would drop to below 60%.
Yes, that does sound quite frightening. And this prompted Frank to get treatment for his issue.
How we treated Frank at DP Dental
From the get-go, we knew that Frank needed immediate treatment. The conventional method of treating sleep apnea is through Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy (CPAP). CPAP uses a machine to help a person with sleep apnea breathe more easily during sleep.
However, at DP Dental, we don’t only look into conventional methods to treat problems. We dive five levels deeper to fix issues at the root.
That is why we opted to follow a hybrid approach to Frank’s sleep apnea treatment, which meant using the conventional method + addressing the root cause.
We didn’t ignore the research indicating that myofunctional therapy significantly reduces the severity of sleep apnea – even providing a reduction in AHI of up to 50% in adults and 62% in children.
Here’s the step-by-step of how we treated Frank.
We directed Frank to an ENT specialist where he underwent a sleep test. The specialist then put Frank on CPAP.
Back at DP Dental, we noticed Frank’s teeth alignment was not ideal. We started him on Invisalign treatment without extractions to improve his teeth alignment and help with better breathing.
We also started Frank on myofunctional therapy to address the root cause of his breathing issues. Myofunctional therapy combines physical therapy exercises for the mouth, tongue, and face muscles to improve chewing, swallowing and breathing.
How it went: Frank had a fantastic transformation
In short, the hybrid treatment route we took was a resounding success!
With CPAP, Invisalign and myofunctional therapy, we could see that Frank was sleeping better. That meant he was getting more oxygen. The result was that he had more energy to be much more active during the day.
What was most astonishing was Frank’s physical transformation. From being overweight and walking with a limp, he had lost a good amount of weight and could now walk much faster. Today, Frank leads an active lifestyle and regularly takes part in hikes and full marathons.
We see patients like Frank frequently and have years of experience treating even the most complex and puzzling sleep issues. We also offer tested and proven sleep apnea treatment.
In addition to using methods outlined in Frank’s treatment, at DP Dental, we have the expertise to customise oral sleep devices to fit your jaw and teeth for ease of use and comfortable sleep.
These devices treat snoring and sleep apnea by advancing your lower jaw forward and opening your airway at the back of your throat.
There are benefits of using oral sleep devices over the conventional CPAP machine. They are:
👉Light weight and portable – you don’t have to worry about carrying around big bulky devices when travelling ✈️.
👉Easy to maintain
👉Able to prevent snoring and teeth grinding
If you snore or have sleep apnea symptoms and want to learn more about oral sleep devices and how they can help you get a better night’s sleep, contact us at 62820122 to schedule an appointment with Dr Yue Weng Cheu.
Dr Yue is trained in Sleep Medicine at TUFTS University, Boston. He also has excellent experience with muscle training (especially the tongue) and breathing re-retraining to help sleep.