Sleep Apnea from A to ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

The following is a brief review of the illness referred to as sleep apnea; its definition, causes and treatment options. There are two types of sleep apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea.

OSA is more common and can result from many factors including excessive weight, a large neck, small mouth, large tongue, nasal congestion, a long soft palate, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, alcohol or sedatives which relax the muscles of the airway, and smoking. OSA is more common in older males although it can even be present in children and infants.

Central sleep apnea is more associated with the brain. With OSA you cannot breathe, but with central sleep apnea you just don’t breathe. This kind of sleep apnea is usually associated with middle age, heart problems, strokes and opioid pain medication.

Snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea, but the actual obstruction is often further down the airway, and the use of over the counter anti snoring appliances may prevent correction of OSA.

What are some of the symptoms of sleep apnea?
• Loud snoring usually accompanied by episodes of breathing cessation and gasping.
• Abrupt awakening mostly associated with Central Sleep Apnea
• Insomnia
• Morning headaches
• Daytime drowsiness and irritability
• Cognitive difficulties such as memory loss and problems with attention.
• Awakening with dry mouth or sore throat.
• Sleepiness when driving.
• Excessive movements during sleep.

What can happen if you don’t get help?
• Incidence of Heart Disease and Cancer increase many fold.
• 200% increase in Alzheimer’s
• Increase in fatal auto accidents.
• Increase in morbidity.
• Loss of bed partner

What can be done? There are many approaches to the treatment of sleep apnea, the most common being the CPAP. Although there have been big improvements in making the CPAP more comfortable, there remains a lack of acceptability. Surgery is occasionally used and varies from implanting a tongue controlling device, to nasal and palatal surgery or maxillofacial surgery which advances one or both jaws forward. The jaw advancement is wonderful if the patient has an underdeveloped chin. The apnea is reduced and the patient’s appearance is greatly improved.

In my practice we have experienced a very high degree of correction with dental sleep appliances. One very recent success was a wonderful 88 year young lady who suffered severe OSA. Her apneas were reduced to zero with the use of the appliance. I personally wear this appliance and enjoy the correction immensely.

Where do I start? Most treatments are covered by your insurance. At my office, the initial exam is complementary, whether or not you are treated by us, and my staff is expert at checking insurance benefits and arranging sleep tests.

It is important to no longer delay. Every day that you deprive your body of proper sleep, damage is being done. One very recent research finding revealed that unless you achieve deep sleep, which doesn’t occur with OSA, your brain cannot release toxins as well.

Advanced Oral Diagnosis & Treatment Center in Danville or 925-837-8048

Be Positive and Never Give up Hope: Go Warriors!

One of the most common sentiments that my patients share with me is “don’t get old.” They tell me that “it’s no fun,” “it’s not for the faint of heart” and such. I completely understand this lament although I don’t know it firsthand. As a child, I daydreamed about the glamorous life of an adult. I assumed that life would be easier and less complicated once I’d finished my education and had a family and job of my own. Now I realize that was the folly of childish ignorance. The disagreeable truth is life gets more complicated and more difficult as we endure it. My personal belief has become that it’s most important to learn how to navigate and survive life’s turbulence and become a stronger, wiser, more tolerant person because of it. There will always be obstacles to overcome and there’s no shortage of physical, emotional and financial hardships that will remind us of the fragile human beings we are.

I enjoy hearing the musings of people who are more experienced than I am. I find that the sagest advice is gleaned when the person imparting the wisdom isn’t really trying to do so. Usually the lesson comes in the form of someone thinking out loud or sharing what they might think is a worthless anecdote. I have a patient who turned 82 not long ago. I remember the first day that she came into my office. She told me that she was still that same blond 24 year old on the inside although her physical appearance and capabilities no longer were. Our goal was to try to more closely align her physical being with her spiritual being by achieving better pain control. Mrs. K came to my office, for the first time in almost a year, last week. Unfortunately, she had suffered some acute illnesses requiring hospitalization, but had finally turned the corner and was doing well again. When I saw her, she was actually beaming with rosy cheeks and a big smile.

After reviewing her medical updates we chatted casually. I realized that a major positive impact on her health came from an unlikely source. The Golden State Warriors had brought her back to life. She is a season ticket holder and had not been able to attend any games until recently. She was loyally watching on TV throughout her convalescence and her only wish was for them to win on her birthday (they did).
Last week she was finally feeling well enough to again attend the Warriors game and her son escorted her there. Normally, she and her husband would go; however, having her son there made for a special memory as they bonded over a new experience together. As she told me the story, she twinkled like a young girl reminiscing about her first magical prom night. She told me how she was the only “little old lady with a cane” in the stadium, but everyone there was happy, courteous and positive. At one point she tripped as she climbed the stairs, but she never felt the ground because at once, arms were all around her holding her up and saving her from harm. Mrs. K was literally buoyed by the goodwill and harmony that was filling the Oracle Arena.

I believe that most people in the Bay area have been positively affected by the success of the Golden State Warriors. To many of us, they represent much more than a basketball team. Just when I thought that professional athletes were no longer fit to be role models, here come the Warriors! We are as proud of them for being personable, respectful and thoughtful people as we are of their near perfect record. They have become embodiment of what we can achieve as a community if we as individuals work hard in an unselfish way with a team effort. In short, they are gentlemen and leaders who exemplify what we are capable of at our very best. Whether they’ve won or lost, they have been gracious, patient and magnanimous. They help us feel young and give us hope of the possibility of a better day and a better world. The Warriors have taught us that life challenges are hard, but if we communicate with each other, give our best effort, protect each other and help each other, we can go far and further than otherwise would have been predicted.

I believe that Mrs. K’s emotional well being was affected by the “Warrior Positivity” which in turn benefited her physical well being. The more positivity you know, the more positivity you can imagine—even at 82 and despite life’s conflicts.

Are Bulging Discs Getting On Your Nerves?

If you are suffering from a pinched nerve or herniated disc, you know how debilitating it is and how the pain slowly leaks the vitality from your life. Since 1999 when Align Healing Center opened its doors, we have been specialists in treating pain naturally; whether it’s back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain or any other pain, we have been there to awaken the healing potential in the body and relieve the pain.

That being said, we are always in search of miraculous new ways to relieve pain without the use of drugs, invasive procedures and certainly without inducing more pain. If you or someone you care about suffers from a pinched nerve or disc related pain, it is worthwhile to explore the exceptional, non-invasive, natural therapies that are available today.

Can I heal my pain without drugs or surgery? Yes, here’s how:

1. Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy
Non-surgical spinal decompression is a state-of-the-art treatment that has been helping thousands of patients with chronic neck or low back pain, sciatica, and herniated, bulging or degenerated discs. This is an entirely different treatment from traditional chiropractic adjustments. Many of the patients who are candidates for this procedure have already tried chiropractic, physical therapy, injections, and/or were told they would need surgery.

This breakthrough treatment works by gently separating the vertebra which decompresses the disc, thus causing the bulging material to be drawn back into the disc. It does this by reversing the internal disc pressure, thus creating a vacuum effect. According to the Journal of Neurosurgery (vol. 81, 1994), decompression was found to substantially reduce the pressure inside disc, therefore allowing water and nutrients to be absorbed and initiate the healing process within the disc itself. Non-surgical spinal decompression is very effective, has a high success rate, and can be utilized for both neck and low-back disc injuries.

2. Class IV Laser Therapy
Laser treatments at Align Healing Center are done with the K-laser Cube Class IV Laser. Class IV Laser therapy gets to the root of the injury and treats it at the cellular level, providing energy to the cells so they can heal. This laser does not cut or burn but is gently absorbed by the tissue. During each painless treatment, laser energy increases circulation, drawing water, oxygen and nutrients to the damaged area.

This creates an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness and pain. As the injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is relieved.

There is hope!
We have found that a combination of Class IV laser therapy and spinal decompression offers outstanding results in healing stubborn pain due to a pinched nerve, bulging disc or spinal degeneration.
As a general rule, most patients experience significant changes in symptoms within one to three sessions. Occasionally, a more advanced degenerative condition or multiple level herniated discs may take 8-10 sessions before realizing a major decline in symptoms. Relief response varies according to age, body morphology and the degree of severity.

This unique combination of non-invasive therapy offers a chance for realizing a permanent cure for back or neck pain. This eliminates the long-term care commitment forced upon patients by other symptomatic back pain treatments, such as drugs, injections or surgery. With proper care and rehabilitation of your spine you can be back to your healthy self quickly!

For more information about Dr. Niele Maimone, DC or to set up a complimentary consult call 925.362.8283 or visit