Snoring is one of the first symptoms noticed when a person has a sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea.
"Snoring is not normal and should never occur," said Dr. David Gozal, physician-in-chief at Conner Hospital University of Chicago Medical Center Director of Pediatrics Pritzker School of Medicine.
The ramifications of snoring are potentially serious in contributing to chronic disease, said Dr. Mark A. Cruz, who highlighted Dr. Gozal’s studies at the Airway Focused Dentistry Mini-Residency he co-developed.
Dr. Gozal studied sleep patterns among children. When a child has fragmented sleep, he or she has inflammation in the brain, studies found. In a Sleep Restriction Study, 4-8 year-old children stayed up one hour past their normal bedtime. All of the children came from middle to upper socioeconomic backgrounds.
The control group was comprised of children who went to bed at a normal time for 10 hours a night. Each group was given sleep studies, neuro cognitive testing, and MRIs. After just one week of one less hour of sleep a night, the children showed a significant decrease in their cognitive abilities, as measured by the neurocognitive testing. Their functional MRIs lit up as they would for children with ADHD.
Dr. Cruz then explained the pattern of sleep. The first four hours of sleep is about repairing the body and the next four hours is about repairing the brain. However, sleep architecture and function changes throughout life.
If patients struggle with getting a good night’s sleep, they should know there is innovative technology that can help in reaching an accurate diagnosis. During appointments, Dr. Cruz examines tooth wear, tongue posture, mouth breathing, and facio-skeletal development. He uses high-resolution pulse oximetry screening to provide objective data to determine sleep disordered breathing risk factors. If the findings are positive, Dr. Cruz may refer the patient to a trusted specialist for further evaluation and treatment.
To learn more about sleep disordered breathing, schedule a consultation with Dr. Cruz by calling his friendly team at (949) 661-1006.