Oral Appliance Therapy for Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Dr. Shapira Blog, Sleep 2 Comments

sleep_apneaHas your snoring become a serious impediment in your relationship? Does it prevent you from enjoying a restful sleep? Almost half of the adult population faces this problem, so you are not alone. It is important that you act fast, though, as snoring usually signals sleep apnea. It is a serious sleep disorder that can significantly impact your health and wellbeing. The first and easiest step in this sense would be to make an appointment with a sleep apnea dentist.

How Can Dental Sleep Medicine Help?

A dentist is probably the last person you would ask for help with your snoring or sleep problems. However, some dentists specialize in treating apnea, insomnia, and other sleep disorders, and can recommend more affordable and effective treatments than you might get in a sleep clinic. The best way to understand the relationship between dental medicine and sleep disorders is to look at the factors responsible for snoring.

  • Obesity – Snoring is more frequent in obese and overweight people, as the fat accumulates at the back of their throat, blocking the airflow into the windpipe, and preventing them from breathing properly.
  • Alcohol and tobacco – These substances make the muscles at the back of the mouth to relax, causing those who consume them to snore to compensate for the restricted airflow.
  • Improper tongue positioning or misaligned bite – One’s tongue or misaligned bite could obstruct airflow at night and cause snoring, preventing the sleeper from actually resting.

It is obvious that some lifestyle choices could help bring some relief. However, if losing weight and giving up guilty pleasures were easy, people wouldn’t have weight, drinking, and smoking problems in the first place.

Then, there is the sleep clinic and CPAP alternative. However, if you do a little research, you will find an impressive number of forum posts that begin with “I hate CPAP.” This treatment is considered invasive, expensive, and difficult to put up with by most patients.

This leads us to your last and best option: oral appliance therapy. All you have to do is contact a sleep dentist, make an appointment, share your trouble, and let them recommend the best course of action, or better put, the best solution for your case.

What a Sleep Apnea Dentist Can Do for You

Some dentists specialize in dental sleep medicine, conceiving and providing treatments and appliances meant to correct various dental issues. These are mouthpieces or guards that reposition the tongue, correct misaligned bite, and clear obstructed airways, allowing patients to breathe better during their sleep, and eliminating the main cause of snoring and sleep apnea.

There are currently two popular snoring devices widely available, MAD (Mandibular Advancement Devices) and TAP (Thornton Adjustment Positioners). While there are many over the counter snoring appliances available, the best results are obtained with custom made ones, so look for a sleep dentist that will design and create a mouth guard just for you.

A simple consultation should be enough for the sleep dentist to determine the cause of your snoring and the best solution to it. Of course, in order to receive adequate care and recommendations, it is important to see someone with experience and reputation, not the first dentist whose name you come across online or in the Yellow Pages.

If you want the best treatment possible, administered by a reputed and awarded sleep apnea dentist, with decades of experience in dental sleep medicine and research, consider Dr. Ira Shapira. His practice in Chicago is the place where you will find the answers and the relief you need. Make an appointment now, to kick snoring out of your life and enjoy the restful sleep you need for a healthy and balanced lifestyle!

Comments 2

  1. Very well said. As snoring is more serious than being one of the many ways you annoy your spouse. So it is important to get proper treatment.

    Thanks for sharing the informative pots!

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