Friday, February 10, 2012

Dental Treatments for Sleep Apnea-Crystal Lake Dentist

Dental Treatments for Sleep Apnea 

Snoring is a sign of sleep apnea

Daytime drowsiness is a sign of sleep apnea

Sleep Apnea...What is It?

 It is estimated that millions of Americans suffer from sleep apnea, but far fewer know very much about what it is or how it can be treated. Quite simply sleep apnea is the disruption of normal breathing during sleep and can become a very serious problem if gone untreated.  Sleep apnea can be difficult to diagnose since no one remembers how his or her breathing was the night before.   

People suffering from sleep apnea also may choke or gasp during sleep to draw in breath, experience loud snoring, awake suddenly to restart breathing, sweat frequently through the night, experience headaches, sore throat, or dry mouth in the morning, and even may experience daytime sleepiness

Causes of Sleep Apnea 

Causes of sleep apnea vary. Large tonsils, obesity, relaxation of the tongue and throat muscles, smoking, nasal congestion, and heredity are some of the major causes.  Sleep apnea can also develop from other physical ailments such as weak immune system, severe heartburn, acid reflux or high blood pressure.

Simple airway tests for sleep apnea

Recordings from portable home testing for sleep apnea

Home testing device  for sleep apnea 
Testing for sleep Apnea 

In our office, we screen patients for sleep apnea with a simple questionnaire regarding their sleep quality of sleep and symptoms of daytime sleepiness. A simple series of airway tests can help determine if your airway collapses. A take home monitor can be used to assess the quality of sleep. This information is then sent electronically to be evaluated by a qualified sleep physician. A diagnosis and recommended course of treatment is then available very quickly and economically.

Treatment of Sleep Apnea
Example of simple oral appliance for sleep apnea


While not usually associated with sleep apnea, dentists can actually play a large and successful role in the treatment of sleep apneaDentists, working along with other health professionals can control the symptoms or reverse sleep apnea. In fact dental treatments are some of the most common and affordable ones.  There are different dental appliances, lower jaw adjustment devices, and oral devices that can help treat and fight mild to moderate sleep apnea.

Many dental devices for treating sleep apnea are much like athletic mouth guards or appliances used for orthodontics and are made of acrylic, fitting inside the mouth that when fitted properly can reposition jaw bones and facial muscles.  Others actually fit around the head and chin to reposition the jaw, much like headgear for braces.  Two of most common dental treatments for sleep apnea include the Tongue Retaining Device and the Mandibular Repositioning.  These two devices help open your airway while you sleep. It moves your lower jaw or tongue forward.  Often, the lower jaw and tongue move too far back thus blocking the flow of air during sleep.



Dental
treatments and devices for sleep apnea can make a huge difference in treating mild to moderate cases. Call our office and ask us how we can best help you treat your sleep apnea for a more rested night’s sleep.

Please share your comments!

Dr. Neal answers all of your questions about Sleep Apnea and Oral appliances at Crystal Lake Dental Associates.


4 comments:

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  3. The suggestion to sing or exercise our throats to help with snoring is one I would never have thought of. Thank you.

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About Me

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Born in the Midwest. Married with 6 children and 3 grandchildren. Attended Maine West High School, Harper Jr College, Northern Illinois University, the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. Practice in Crystal Lake, Illinois.