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Dental Devices Offer a Simple Solution for Sleep
Date:2/12/2008

Millions could benefit from a slight forward jaw adjustment

BLOOMINGTON, Ind., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- A dentist with membership in the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine is advocating for the medical community to provide relief to the one in 15 Americans who suffer alarming and sometimes deadly sleep apnea by using a common and simple solution as a first line of treatment.

"It's just amazing that a few millimeters of adjustment, bringing your lower jaw forward, could add years to your life and millions of hours of productivity to the American workforce," said Dr. David Lawler. "Because daytime sleepiness is one of the major symptoms of this malady, going without treatment can create a dangerous situation."

Image: http://staging.hirons.com/websites/lawler.jpg

Dangerous situations such as falling asleep behind the wheel - something that 37 percent of Americans admit to doing, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of those polled by the NHTSA, 60 percent admitted falling asleep while driving on an interstate-type highway with posted speeds of 55 mph or higher. The NHTSA states that those with unrecognized sleep disorders are among the drivers at highest risk.

When it comes to dealing with sleep disorders, dentists may not normally be recognized as the first line of treatment. A new breed of dentists highly trained in sleep medicine are becoming more involved in helping Americans through the use of oral appliances (such as those manufactured by SomnoMed (http://www.somnomed.com )) approved by the Food and Drug Administration to manage serious sleep disorders that are often discounted as simple snoring.

A less invasive alternative to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices, which have low compliance rates because of their cumbersome nature, o
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SOURCE Dr. David E. Lawler
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