The promise of a new year so often means promises to ourselves to take steps toward better health and self-care. Feeling better, looking better, being better—they’re all reasons to smile, especially when all three of those notions can be bound together in single approach and result.
To get there, however, many people don’t know where to begin. Dr. Zoya Yadgarov DDS of Art of Dentistry in Lynbrook and Manhattan notes that a good place to start might be with the connection between dental and oral health and one’s overall well-being. In particular, how sleeping, snoring and sleep apnea can relate to oral health.
“It’s pretty new but old,” says Dr. Yadgarov. “It’s a newly researched area. but the problem is pretty old. A lot of patients suffer from that. It’s mostly breathing disorders, and one of the treatment options is seeing a dentist who is sleep certified and can deliver oral appliance that treats sleep apnea and snoring and sleep disorders.”
Knowing the Signs
“One of the clinical signs of these disorders is snoring, waking up from gasping in the middle of the night,” says Dr. Yadgarov. “Or your spouse or significant other may wake you and say, ‘Oh my god, I got scared, you stopped breathing for a few seconds and then you started breathing again.’ Daytime sleepiness, being tired, falling asleep in unintended areas like watching TV—some people fall asleep while driving. Some people live on coffee, so they don’t even understand they’re sleepy, they’re just trying to be awake and they drink multiple cups of coffee a day, not realizing it. Those are clinical singes that you have to watch for.”
Getting the Evaluation
“The devices are very effective. It just needs to be chosen by the doctor, because there are different levels of sleep apnea—mild, moderate and severe. So for each of those levels, there’s a different device.
“There are two types of tests. One is at-home, where you sleep in the comfort of your own bed and we give you a small machine that reads you while you’re sleeping. And then a certified sleep doctor, usually a pulmonologist or a neurologist or endocrinologist, they read your test and, based on the test results, the doctor interprets which level you are—mild, moderate and severe.”
Making the Change
“It’s a life-changing experience, when you get the device and you start getting quality sleep and you stop waking up multiple times,” Dr. Yadgarov says. “People may say, ‘I have to go to the bathroom four, five, six times a night,’ and it’s not the bladder that wakes you up, it’s apnea, because your body shakes and wakes you because not enough oxygen gets to your body and you kind of choke. And then you have to justify why you got up, so you go to the bathroom.
“When you start wearing the device, you start sleeping longer, you get quality sleep for those eight hours, you stop waking up multiple times. Maybe you wake up once instead of five or six times—that’s a big difference. We hear feedback like I’m rested, I don’t need coffee, I didn’t realize how much coffee I was drinking during the day, my spouse is happier because I don’t snore.”
Sharing the Smiles
The transformation is amazing. And for the doctors, the biggest satisfaction that we hear is a thankful patient, an happy patient—they become the biggest advocates for this type of service and they recommend their friends and family. The beauty of our profession, the beauty of dentistry, is that we can see results so quickly. People are happy and they talk about you and your office and your services—that’s where we get professional and personal satisfaction.”
Learn more about Dr. Zoya Yadgarov and the Art of Dentistry in Lynbrook and Manhattan at artofdentistryny.com.