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Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), TMJ and Migraine - Podcast interview with Dr. Kaplansky

September 2, 2015
Posted By: Dr. Igor Kaplansky

Listen or Read Dr. Igor Kaplansky’s Podcast Interview!

Topic – Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), TMJ and Migraine

Below you will find an easy to read transcript of Dr. Igor Kaplansky’s interview on the razorcast™ monthly podcast.  You can either watch the video to listen to the podcast or simply read the easy to follow transcript below. Enjoy!

Podcast Interview:

RC: Hello everyone, this is Liz Harvey coming to you from our razorcast™ studios in New York City where we are dedicated to bringing you top quality advice from many of the leading expert professionals across the United States.

In today’s episode, we are speaking with Dr. Igor Kaplansky. Dr. Kaplansky is the founder of Dentistry by Dr. Kaplansky in Gasport, NY.  He grew up in Russia and after receiving his dental degree, he was accepted into the International Dentist program at the University at Buffalo, School of Dental Medicine. He graduated Cum Laude in 1998 with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree and continued as a resident in the Advanced General Dentistry program at Buffalo.

Since 1999, Dr. Kaplansky has been practicing family dentistry with a special interest in orthodontics and dental implants. He has been recognized with prestigious fellowship awards from the Academy of General Dentistry and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.

Dr. Kaplansky is widely considered to be one of the top dentists in the country and he is also a contributing member of our national network of industry professionals.  
Today we are going to talk about a very important topic:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), TMJ and Migraine.

RC: Hi Dr. Kaplansky, how are you today?

Dr. Igor Kaplansky: Good morning Liz. I’m doing very well. Thank you for inviting me.

Question 1: How can a dentist help with Sleep Apnea?

RC: Well thanks for joining us and I’m going to dive right in here to my first question: How can a dentist help with Sleep Apnea?

Dr. Igor Kaplansky: Most of the time when people think sleep apnea, they think CPAP - basically a forced oxygen mask on their face and that is still a gold standard for treating sleep apnea. And just so that our listeners understand, sleep apnea, there’s been a huge upsurge in diagnosing sleep apnea as a condition lately. Many people suffer from it and a lot of people don’t realize that they suffer from it.

There are sleep clinics out there - sleep medicine doctors – and they diagnose the condition and mostly what is being prescribed for treatment of that is CPAP machines. They are great when people actually wear them. They do work very well, unfortunately, there is a segment of population that is unable to wear CPAP machines. They either cannot tolerate the mask on their face or they cannot fall asleep with the machine on so the machine doesn’t help. In that case, we step in.

Dentists can make (or fabricate) an oral appliance - mandibular repositioning appliances or mandibular advancement appliances.  They move the lower jaw forward and by doing that, prevent the back of the tongue from touching the uvula (the soft pallet) and that effectively eliminates snoring and eliminates the obstruction of the airway at night when they are prone and they are laying back.

Question 2: What is TMJ and are mouthguards necessary?

RC: Wow that’s really interesting thank you and what is TMJ and are mouthguards necessary?

Dr. Igor Kaplansky: TMJ is a temporomandibular joint. Everybody has a TMJ. The conditions that we treat are called TMJ or temporomandibular disorders or temporomandibular joint disorders. But mostly, people refer to it as TMJ so it is okay to call these conditions TMJ.

Practically what we see is due to a daytime stress - on their job or in their families or while they are driving - and people tend to clench their teeth. At night, a lot of people clench their teeth and grind their teeth. Over time, this leads to excessive wear within the joint just like if you’re a runner, you might expect that there would be some excessive wear on your knees or on your hips.

Over time, if you use your TMJ or temporomandibular joint 24/7, you eat during the day, you talk during the day and then you clench and grind at night, the joint surfaces will wear prematurely. Or there may be some other issues with the joint congenitally, sometimes people are born with imperfect joints. In that case what we as dentists can help with is fabricate an appliance or mouthguard. In this case, it is called a nightguard and it is an appliance that people wear at night and it relaxes the muscles and doesn’t allow people to clench and grind at night. By doing that, it eliminates the wear on the joint surfaces.

Question 3: Can dental conditions cause migraines?


RC: Okay that sounds really good and helpful and jumping to a different topic: Can dental conditions cause migraines?


Dr. Igor Kaplansky: That’s a great question. What causes migraines?  No one really knows.  A migraine is something that is usually diagnosed by a medical doctor. And the way they’ve been treating migraines over the years, migraines and tension headaches, is by prescribing medication. Medication works for some people, it doesn’t work for other people.


 It’s been found many years ago that grinding and clenching (whether it’s during the day or at night) not only leads to premature wear on the joints but also causes tension in the pericranial musculature. So think of it as if you went to the gym and you did a lot of bicep curls. Your bicep will probably be sore the next day or in the next couple of days. You don’t feel it right away but you feel it later. So when people grind and clench their teeth at night, they wake up either with tension or headache or migraine and it is related to this clenching and grinding at night. So that is the relation between grinding/clenching and migraine. Do all grinding and clenching patients have migraines? No. Do all migraine patients grind and clench at night? No. But there is a percentage of population that have migraines that are related to grinding and clenching and that is where dentists can help.


Question 4: Are there other health conditions that dentists can treat that aren’t typically associated with a dentist?


RC: Okay so Dr. Kaplansky, are there other health conditions that dentists can treat that aren’t typically associated with a dentist?

Dr. Igor Kaplansky: We just mentioned a few. One of them is obstructive sleep apnea. We fabricate appliances that prevent sleep apnea episodes at night by moving the lower jaw forward.


We also make appliances that eliminate snoring. A lot of times patients come to me and they don’t really complain or they don’t know about their sleep apnea episodes but their spouse will notice that they snore at night and that wakes them up and that’s something they would like corrected. In that case, we use similar appliances as the ones we use for sleep apnea and they are designed to eliminate snoring at night.


Another category is migraines and tension headaches. Again that’s not something that patients typically associate with the dentist. They don’t think dentist migraine or dentist headache. But mouthguards or nightguards or in our case, it is called an NTI appliance -  what we make for treatment of migraine and tension headaches – and have been FDA approved many years ago for this specific purpose. It’s probably the only non-medication treatment for migraine and it works very very well and even if it doesn’t eliminate migraines completely, it will minimize the amount of medication the patient would require.


RC: Thank you so much Dr. Kaplansky. We know you’re really busy and I just want to thank you for your time and all your help today.

Dr. Igor Kaplansky: You’re very welcome Liz. It’s always a pleasure talking to you.  

RC: Thanks so much and for our listeners across the country, if you are interested in speaking with Dr. Igor Kaplansky, you can either go online at www.drkaplansky.com or call (716) 772-7500 to schedule an appointment.
On behalf of our entire team at razorcast™, we want to thank you for listening and we look forward to bringing you more top quality content from our country’s leading industry professionals.

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