Making Sleep Medicine a Priority in Your Dental Practice

How to get your whole team on board with dental sleep medicine.

The prevalence and under-treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in the general population is alarming. To begin, an estimated 30 million Americans suffer from the disorder, yet 80% of those cases remain undiagnosed.1 Couple that with the fact that the population of Americans age 65 and older—an age group at high risk for OSA—is projected to more than double from 46 million to over 98 million by the year 2060.2

For those who have been diagnosed with OSA, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the accepted gold standard for treating the condition. However, low adherence rates mean many patients remain ineffectively treated, leaving them at risk for a host of associated comorbidities and in need of an alternative option. The convergence of these realities provides dentists a golden opportunity to help address this public health epidemic by incorporating dental sleep medicine (DSM) and the administration of oral appliance therapy (OAT) into their dental practices.

When implemented correctly and strategically, DSM can be exciting and rewarding—financially and otherwise. In addition to providing a profit center, DSM has the potential to save lives and save relationships. For me personally, the reward comes in the form of patients who are happy to see me when I walk into an appointment. As dentists know, that’s frequently not the case when walking into a dental operatory.

In this article, I will offer advice about how to get the whole team on board so that DSM is a bona fide profit center—not just a hobby.

Staffing a DSM Practice

It doesn’t take many team members to get sleep going in a dental practice. The key roles in any successful DSM practice are going to be: the dentist, a sleep assistant, a patient coordinator, and a medical insurance coordinator. For practices just starting out, one person may even be able to take on two or three of the roles, until patient load requires further separation of responsibilities.


Sleep Dallas sleep assistant, April Fields, demonstrates to

Stop The Snore: Here’s Another Treatment Option

Do you sleep with a snorer? Or maybe you’re the snorer? Either one, snoring is a problem. It affects a lot of people. Folks, who are either snoring or affected by snoring,  are, most likely, sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation leads to a lot of serious illnesses.

At least 25 million adults across the United States suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, a chronic condition that can leave you feeling tired during the day and lead to serious health complications, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.


The worst part of the growing problem of snoring is that there are a lot of folks who don’t get themselves checked for it.

Moreover, there are many other people with sleep apnea who have not been diagnosed or received treatment.


Not a lot of people take snoring seriously. That’s the probably the reason why they don’t go for treatment. For couples, who face a snoring issue, the most common solution is to sleep in another room. That doesn’t exactly solve the issue because the snorer is the problem.

One, who snores heavily and habitually, could already be suffering from sleep apnea. With little knowledge about sleep apnea, the snoring is ignored and most of the time, tolerated. When snoring is ignored and tolerated, it could lead to a lot of health problems in the future.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles relax during sleep, causing the soft tissue in the back of the throat to collapse and block the upper airway.

When this happens, it limits the amount of air that reaches your lungs and deprives your brain and body of oxygen. In response, your brain alerts your body, causing you to wake up briefly so that you can breath normal again.

These interruptions in sleep, which can occur multiple times throughout the night, can cause you to feel sleepy during the day and can increase the risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer and depression.


This not to scare everybody who snores. As a matter of …

A Life with Sleep Apnea

A woman’s life changes *dramatically* after discovering she had a sleep disorder, reports WPSD.

Krafton was scared. In 2014 she was diagnosed with sleep apnea. Five years later, she’s checking in with Dr. Lisa Buford regularly at the Midtown sleep Center. “She came to me with symptoms of snoring and increased daytime somnolence. Also a BMI body max index of 30 or greater is a risk factor of sleep apnea,” said Dr. Buford.

from Sleep Review…

Sleep Apnea Being Diagnosed More Often as Awareness Spreads

Srinivasan Devanathan, medical director of Parkview Health Sleep Centers, said that sleep apnea is a prevalent disorder and is getting diagnosed more and more each year because people are more aware of it, reports KPC News.

“People are often told that they snore, their bed partner may be concerned that they are holding their breath, snoring loudly, they may wake up with headaches in the morning, they can wake up with the sensation of having acid reflux, their chest could be pounding with the heart beating faster, waking up often to use the restroom and have excessive daytime sleepiness,” Devanathan said.

Get the full story at

from Sleep Review…

Sheets That Keep You Cool

bed sheets

When it comes to getting a great night’s sleep, few things matter more than comfort. A great mattress, comfortable pajamas, even the right lighting all contribute to a bedroom environment that’s conducive to sleep. Still, it doesn’t matter if everything else is perfect. If you’re sweaty and uncomfortable, you won’t get a good night’s sleep. You certainly won’t wake up feeling well-rested. The good news is that doing something as simple as changing out your sheets can make a big difference as you try to stay cool in bed.

Why do Some People Overheat at Night?

There are several different reasons that people struggle sweating and getting too hot while they sleep. For some, it’s simply their physiology. Certain medications can be a factor. People dealing with hormonal fluctuations from pregnancy or menopause also tend to get too hot to sleep comfortably.

Then there’s the matters of humidity and room temperature. If you’re sleeping without air conditioning, or just trying to lower your HVAC bills, you may need to find new solutions to stay cool. Whatever the case may be, check out these ten options for cooling bed sheets that can help you keep your cool.

1. Hotel Luxury Bed Sheets

Microfiber sheets make several appearances on our top ten list of sheets. That’s because they are relatively thin, breathable, and they wick away moisture. In addition to this, these particular sheets are a bit on the large side, and work well with the kind of deep mattresses that are find in hotel rooms so often.

See Product on Amazon.

2. Pinzon 300 Count Percale Sheets

High thread count sheets are often touted as being comfortable and luxurious. They are, but don’t discount a set of low thread count sheets out on a hot night. Because they are thinner, slightly stiff, and made of cotton, these sheets are great for keeping cool. They provide light cover with minimal cling.

See Product on Amazon.

3. Cosy House Collection Luxury Queen Bed Sheets

This is a hotel quality sheet set. You can get your set in either a matte or shiny …

Join Us in Austin for the Central Texas Narcolepsy Forum

Friends, I’m thrilled to share the news that Project Sleep is co-hosting a unique one-day event in Austin, TX with the Austin Narcolepsy Support Group on Saturday, June 15, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Please join us for the Central Texas Narcolepsy Forum – see the full details and register today! 

Why am I so excited about this event?

  1. Todd J. Swick, MD is one of my very favorite people and narcolepsy experts! I’m so honored that Dr. Swick will join us for this event and share about novel upcoming treatments for narcolepsy type 1, type 2 and idiopathic hypersomnia. This is a VERY exciting time for narcolepsy drug development with many new options on the horizon, so Dr. Swick’s presentation is timely and important.
  2. In the afternoon, I’ll be leading a brand-new interactive workshop designed to help you effectively share your story in various settings from the dinner table to Capitol Hill. Sharing about our experiences with narcolepsy can be challenging, but our stories matter and are hugely effective tools for raising awareness and advocacy efforts.
  3. I’ve never been to Austin but heard great things! Plus, I’ve been in touch with the narcolepsy community there for many years now. A HUGE special shout out and thank you to Kami Barron and the Austin Narcolepsy Support Group for making this a reality! I’m so grateful for your kind invitation to speak in Austin.

Who Should Attend?

This event is appropriate for anyone looking to learn more about narcolepsy, both those very familiar with the condition along with healthcare providers, human resources and education professionals. 

Spread the word!

Print and share the event flyer or share this post with friends and family on social media.

See the full details and register today! Space is limited.

from Julie Flygare…

Solve The Snoring Problem To Save A Loving Relationship

Why let snoring destroy a loving relationship? It’s totally absurd to let go of the one you love simply because of snoring.

Keep in mind that true love comes only once in a lifetime. Heck, it might not even come at all for some people. So, if it does come to you in the in the form of someone who snores, accept it wholeheartedly. Don’t let snoring break up your loving relationship. Sad to say, that’s a lot easier said than done. Truth be told, snoring can really put a strain in a relationship.

Being in the relationship itself is quite a challenge, but being in a relationship with a snorer is even harder. The same problem every night puts a great strain on the relationship. It disturbs both partners’ sleep. As a result, they feel exhausted during the day.

Snoring also leads to frustration between the couple since partner who can’t sleep well tends to blame a snorer. According to research conducted by Ohio State University, partners who don’t get at least seven hours of sleep tend to fight more. No wonder, restless nights lead to negative mood. It makes partners irritated and hostile towards each other.


Snoring not only affects the non-snorer partner. The thing about snoring is that it actually affects both the snorer and the non-snorer.

Snoring is also associated with different health risks such as chronic headaches, fatigue, obesity, and heart attack. So, both partners should take this issue seriously and work on it together. Let’s see how simple rules of sticking to a healthy diet, using snoring devices and sleeping on the side can rescue the relationship and bring intimacy back.


So, for a loving couple, snoring is actually a problem for both. The non-snorer simply cannot resort to sleeping in another room to solve the problem. Unfortunately, that becomes an easy solution for some couples faced with a snoring problem.

The latest survey by the National Sleep Foundation shows that 25% of couples are forced to sleep separately to get proper rest during the night.

What is a Bamboo Pillow?

bamboo pillow

Bamboo is all the rage lately. It’s being used to construct everything from sheets and pillows to flooring. You may have even watched infomercials on various bamboo products. Many of these claim that bamboo can cure a variety of ailments, and that bamboo is an entirely ‘green’ option for bedding. As you might imagine, the claims are fairly exaggerated.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that bamboo is a bad choice. There are absolutely benefits here. First, it is definitely a sustainable resource. It grows quickly.

Still, there’s always a danger that demand for bamboo could exceed the ability of this crop to replenish itself. In addition to this, some bamboo products on the market aren’t exactly pure. Many contain sawdust and other materials. Before you make any purchases, you should ask the seller, ‘what are bamboo pillows made of?’

Now, let’s address some of the ‘cure-all’ claims made about bamboo pillows. To put it clearly and briefly, most of these are entirely unproven. Like any other pillow, it may benefit you, but it certainly isn’t going to fix any health concerns that are significant. Yes, they are hypoallergenic. Bamboo is also antibacterial. Just keep in mind that this doesn’t mean they will cure your allergies or prevent all types of infections. They may simply provide some benefits in these areas, and many of these are unproven.

True Bamboo Pillow Benefits

Are bamboo pillows worth it? In spite of the precautions detailed above, the answer is yes. A quality, bamboo pillow can be an excellent choice for someone looking for a better night of sleep. As long as you aren’t expecting a miracle, the benefits are clear. These include:

  • Bamboo fabric is breathable because it’s made from fine fibers.
  • Bamboo feels very nice against your skin – a plus for a good night of sleep. It’s also odor free.
  • Bamboo pillows can repel dust mites.
  • If you are allergic to many fabrics, bamboo is a good option for you.
  • Most bamboo grows without the need for herbicides or pesticides. As long as non-organic materials are not added in the

Snoring: Why You Shouldn’t Ignore It

There’s nothing good about snoring. It’s irritating and annoying. Snoring is a major roadblock to decent sleep. No one can get decent sleep if someone snores. Truth be told, even the snorer is deprived of some decent sleep as well.

The roar is deafening. And while it sounds like a joke, it’s not. Because what you’re hearing is your loved one having genuine difficulty breathing. You’re impacted too, definitely sleep deprived, and maybe a bit resentful. Fortunately, there are treatments for snoring that don’t involve separate bedrooms.


The point is, snoring is not to be ignored especially if it’s becoming an issue between you and your partner. It’s about time to take snoring seriously because there’s nothing funny about it.

Deep heavy snoring that occurs every night is bad for the health of both the snorer and the partner. It leads to sleep deprivation. So, if both you and your partner are sleep deprived, the two of you could eventually face some serious health problems.

“Snoring is an issue when it is habitual — when the sleep disruption occurs every night,” said Atul Malhotra, MD, professor of medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine and director of sleep medicine at UC San Diego Health. “Snoring can be caused by a range of issues. But the louder the snoring is, the more likely the diagnosis is sleep apnea, a condition that causes breathing to stop repeatedly throughout the night.”


One simple way to cure snoring is to eat a healthier diet. If you’re the snorer, be honest with yourself. Take a look at your weight and do something about it. If your partner is the snorer, recommend a healthy diet.

Malhotra said being overweight also factors into snoring.
“Many patients, with diet and exercise, can reduce weight and eliminate snoring. It’s not an easy solution, but one that can produce good results that stop snoring and improve long-term health.”


Habitual snoring is an indication of a deeper health problem, like  sleep apnea. The repercussions of ignoring sleep apnea can lead to …

Joint Dental Sleep Medicine and Craniofacial Pain Practice Thrives: Mayoor Patel, DDS, MS

Mayoor Patel, DDS, MS, articulates the links between sleep and pain.

Enthusiasm radiates from Mayoor Patel, DDS, MS, when the topic turns to dental sleep medicine, and it’s clear that the owner of Atlanta-based Craniofacial Pain and Dental Sleep Center of Georgia has found his calling. While all that optimism serves him well as an educator and clinician, the positive mindset does not cloud his realism.

“There is a lot of work to be done,” Patel says. “Many general practitioners [GPs] with CPAP noncompliant patients are dealing with their patients’ hypertension and diabetes with only medication. We feel resistance to oral appliance therapy from primary care medicine, but we are merely trying to get primary care docs to see that there are viable alternatives to CPAP.”

Far from disparaging CPAP, Patel’s aim is to educate and increase options for patients who ultimately care nothing for medical turf wars. If and when patients go the oral appliance route, the 47-year-old Patel is quick to remind his colleagues to do thorough follow-up.

“Too often patients will get a device, and as long as patients say they are good, clinicians will let them float. Patients must have oversight because complications can arise with oral appliance therapy,” says Patel, who is also coauthor of the books Sleep Apnea Hurts—The Cure Doesn’t Have To and Take a Bite Out of Pain. “Dentists need to have a system to bring patients back and make sure devices are intact and there are no negative consequences of the oral appliance therapy.”

Ongoing Education


Patel teaches other dentists at a continuing education course organized by Nierman Practice Management. Photo courtesy Nierman Practice Management

In the realm of traditional dentistry, Patel learned proper follow-up as a dental student at the University of Tennessee. After working at general practices in Norcross and Duluth, Ga, he went on to receive his Certification in Orofacial Pain at Rutgers in New Jersey in 2004.

From the early 2000s to about 2008, education for dentists who wanted to learn about oral appliances was essentially