Raphaelson Dental would like to bring high blood pressure awareness to our patients, especially women and encourage you to get your blood pressure reading. Normal blood pressure is 120/80, whereas prehypertension is defined as 120-139/80-89, with a reading of 140/90 defined as hypertension (more commonly referred to as high blood pressure). So what are the connections between women’s health, hypertension, and sleep disorders?
Check out some facts below:
Women’s health and hypertension
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Women are about as likely as men to develop high blood pressure during their lifetimes.
For people 65 years old or older, high blood pressure affects more women than men.
Women of African American descent have higher blood pressure than men.
Among blue-collar workers, women have a higher prevalence of hypertension than their male counterparts.
Certain types of birth control can also raise a woman’s risk for high blood pressure.
Women with high blood pressure who want to become pregnant should try to lower their blood pressure before becoming pregnant.
Expectant mothers with high blood pressure are more likely to have complications during pregnancy than those with normal blood pressure.
High blood pressure can place an expectant mother’s kidneys and other vital organs at risk, which can lead to low birth weight, preeclampsia, and preterm labor
Healthy blood pressure is critical for your overall health and well-being. High blood pressure increases the risk of having strokes, heart attacks, or developing heart disease or heart arrhythmias.
So how does this connect to your sleep patterns?
Certain sleep problems such as circadian rhythm disorders, insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), primary snoring, restless leg syndrome (RLS), shift work disorder, and sleep deprivation can aggravate preexisting hypertension and may even lead to is developement.
Need more facts?
Snoring during pregnancy may increase the risk for both pregnancy-induced hypertension and intrauterine growth retardation. (BioMed Research International, 2016)
Preliminary data from one study suggests that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects 8.1 percent of pregnant women by the second trimester, with an additional link made between OSA, hypertension, and diabetes. (BioMed Research International, 2016)
Among postmenopausal women, with symptoms of insomnia are at a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease. (Journal of Women’s Health, 2013)
A 2006 study focused on insomnia and hypertension found that more than 60 percent of women versus less than 40 percent of men, that had coronary artery disease reported problems with insomnia; those with insomnia tended to be older and had experienced high blood pressure for longer. (Blood Pressure, 2006)
Penn Medicine is currently researching women who have pulmonary arterial hypertension who also have daytime fatigue and insomnia to determine what might be a cause of their sleep-wake problems. (Penn Medicine, 2017)
A recent meta-analysis concluded that sleep-disordered breathing is an independent stroke predictor; a separate Taiwan study reviewed gender-related differences and found a higher increase in stroke incidence among women than men, with women under the age of 35 showing the greatest risk increase. (Neurology, 2016)
Women who had sleep apnea were almost twice as likely to develop what’s known as preeclampsia, a type of pregnancy-related high blood pressure. (Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2016)
Untreated OSA leads to multiple problems in women (oxidative stress, inflammation, tissue damage, sympathetic activation and metabolic dysregulation) which predispose the body to atherosclerosis (“hardening of the arteries”). This confirms OSA as a common cause of systemic hypertension. (Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders, 2016)
Pregnant women with OSA have a higher risk of gestational hypertension and are more likely to undergo a cesarean section than women without OSA. (Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders, 2016)
Its time to connect the dots
If you struggle with daytime fatigue and sleepiness/ sleep, you may want to discuss a potential sleep disorder as the hidden culprit behind your blood pressure if it becomes high and difficult to manage. Raphaelson Dental Sleep Center can help diagnose your symptoms with a convenient home sleep study. Make an appointment today, our goal is to restore your health!
Did you know that your personalized care at Raphaelson Dental Associates begins the moment you fill out your paperwork? Our dental family cares about you, not just a tooth or your mouth. We find that is it very important to know what is going on systemically with our patients, and sometimes we are given these clues from what we see your mouth. These clues can help us potentially save a person’s life.
Sleep Apnea awareness is becoming more relevant in the media since the terminal crash in Hoboken and the more recent accident in Brooklyn with the LIRR. We believe Sleep Apnea is not talked about enough, and that is why so many people go undiagnosed. Sleep apnea is very personal to some of our employees and their families. We have seen the negative effects it can have on a person’s health when it is left untreated and that is why we feel it is important to screen our patients for this potentially dangerous sleep disorder.
As mentioned above our personalized care starts with your paperwork- primarily your medical health history. Chronic headaches, high blood pressure, stroke, acid reflux, heart attacks, depression, and stroke have all been linked to Obstructive Sleep Apnea. If you have any of these conditions our team will dig a little deeper into your medical history and look for common physical oral signs of OSA. When the mandible (lower jaw) is pushed back; the tongue, fatty tissue of the neck, and muscles in the upper airway are also displaced backward. This causes an obstruction of the airway when a patient with OSA sleeps on their back (which happens to be the exact position they are in our operatory chairs). As dental professionals, we can see these obstructions and other common physical signs of OSA during a routine check up or dental exam. These common physical signs include heavy wear on teeth from grinding, a scalloped tongue, a higher Mallampati classification, enlarged tongue or uvula, a soft palate, and a narrow airway. During sleep, a patient with OSA clenches and grinds their teeth in order to wake up and resume breathing, which results in tooth wear. Patients with Class 3 or Class 4 Mallampati (see the picture below) usually have some form of OSA because of the small space in their throat that allows for the passage of air. A patient with a scalloped tongue is trying its best to push forward and open the airway again. When the tongue is in this state, the teeth can easily exert pressure on it to cause scallops or grooves at the edges.
If our dental professionals observe any of these physical signs of OSA and our patients experience any of its symptoms, we will refer them for a Sleep Study. A Sleep Study or polysomnography is the only way to diagnose OSA. Raphaelson Dental Sleep Center offers a convenient Home Sleep Study that measures the number of times you have stopped or reduced breathing per hour ( known as the Apnea-Hypopnea Index). It also measures the drop in your blood-oxygen levels. Keep in mind that oxygen values under 90 percent are considered low and dangerous. After you have completed your Home Sleep Study, a sleep physician will read the results to determine whether you have sleep apnea. If you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the sleep physician will let your know whether your results are mild, moderate or severe.
If you have any of symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea please contact our office for a FREE Consultation. Common symptoms include: snoring, gasping for air, excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, gasping during sleep, or insomnia. At Raphaelson Dental Sleep Center, our patients with Sleep Apnea are treated with an Oral Appliance. Oral appliances are custom and comfortable, they fit like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. The oral appliance holds the lower jaw forward keeping the airway open, preventing the tongue and muscles in the upper airway from collapsing and obstructing the airway. Raphaelson Dental Sleep Center works with hundreds of medical insurance companies for Sleep Apnea treatment. Our sleep coordinators will contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your treatment.