“Jokes about loud snorers can be pretty funny,” said Dr. Rodney Bughao, dentist and dental sleep apnea specialist. “But in reality, snoring is no laughing matter.”
Along with disrupting sleep and negatively affecting relationships, snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a potentially life-threatening disorder. OSA can contribute to many serious health consequences, including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, reflux disease, diabetes, atherosclerosis, obesity, anxiety and depression.
A gentle dentist, who has devoted most of his 25-year career to treating special needs patients in a hospital setting, Dr. Bughao became interested in treating sleep disorders several years ago. He had heard stories from friends who had been diagnosed with sleep apnea but refused to use the first-line treatment — continuous positive airway pressure, better known as CPAP.
“Some people just can’t accept the feeling of a mask on their face all night long,” said Dr. Bughao. “Aside from not being very attractive, people tell me it makes them claustrophobic.”
Dr. Bughao completed a mini residency in Dental Sleep Medicine at UCLA in 2012. He is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.
Dr. Bughao said that an oral appliance can be an effective first-line therapy for mild to moderate sleep apnea. Similar to a bite guard, the oral appliance is a molded device placed in the mouth at night to hold the lower jaw and bring the tongue forward to keep it from blocking the airway.
“Most importantly, it’s much easier to get used to, it’s not cumbersome … and it’s not ugly,” Dr. Bughao chuckled. “My patients tell me they awake refreshed and feel better after wearing the appliance.” And most insurance covers the device.
Dr. Bughao is located in El Dorado Hills. Call 916-943-1395 or go online to RBughaoDDS.com.