Orthodontic Treatment of Sleep Disorders

Dr. Shapira Orthodontic Treatment of Sleep Disorders 0 Comments

What do I do about sleep apnea and snoring?

dna-appliances

Do you have trouble sleeping and stay awake at night for hours, or find yourself waking up suddenly, gasping for breath? You may have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea. If you have a sleep disorder you may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Loud and persistent snoring
  • Persistent sleepiness during the day
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Decrease in work efficiency.

These symptoms could be due to sleep apnea. This sleeping disorder happens when you are unable to breathe easily while asleep because your airway is obstructed in some way. Not getting sufficient oxygen while you are sleeping means you haven’t achieved the deep sleep that is required for normal functioning during your waking hours.

You may be unaware of your night time breathing problems, since you seem to sleep through the night. This often results in feeling tired even though you got a good amount of sleep. There are some new orthodontic treatments for sleep apnea which may help to alleviate these symptoms. These are called epigenetic orthodontics.

Epigenetic Orthodontics for sleep disorder treatment

Epigenetic orthodontics is a treatment specifically designed to grow jaws orthopedically and to grow airways pneumopediclly to prevent airway obstruction.  This is different from typical orthodontics because it does not use heavy mechanical forces to move your teeth. Instead, a removable device called Daytime-Nighttime Appliance™ (DNA appliance™) is placed on your teeth throughout the evening and night, which lets the body alter the positions of your teeth more naturally and gently.

Genetics is the study of genes and our genotype describes the actual genes in an individual.  Phenotype is a description of how our genes are expressed.  Epigenetics is the study of how environment changes our gene expression.  The DNA appliance is used to correct acquired deformities and to bring out the ideal form and function.  Dr Shapira recently lectured (March 2014) at the ICCMO meeting in Buenos Aires on the common developmental pathways of TMJ and Sleep disorders and the epigenetic causes of these problems.

It has become common for children to do two step orthodontics with expansion (growth) being done as a first phase and braces or invisalign as a second phase of treatment.  This has not been possible in adults until now.  The DNA appliance allows us to grow and expand adults today .

These newly developed DNA appliances™ don’t depend so much on the continuous force that traditional orthodontic braces use but instead they help to move the teeth, the jaws, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the face and the airway into better relationships which help to ensure adequate sleep and correct breathing. The DNA appliances™ are made with special  3-D Axial springs™, which do not require any adjustment on a regular basis but puts vibrations into the system which greatly enhances treatment.

The RNA Appliance is a combination DNA growth appliance and a Mandibular advancement sleep apnea appliance.  There are published case reports of sleep apnea cures from treatment with DNA and RNA appliances.

The Epigenetic Orthodontic treatment Difference

Typical force orthodontics is a 4 step process.  The force is appliaed leading to inflamation (and pain) which causes the bone to resorb, the teeth move into the area of resorbtion and consolidation occurs.

Epigenetic Orthodontics eliminates the inflammation and pain by the gentle vibrations and the fact that movements are only 250 microns per adjustment.  This eliminates most or all of the pain associated with orthodontics.

Discover the DNA device

The DNA device is the most recent non-surgical device now in use to help address the causes of sleep apnea. As an alternative to other forms of sleep apnea treatment, it works by naturally remodeling your airway. It widens your arch while altering your oral cavity’s shape. Its aim is to improve your breathing.

Many people depend on other devices, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which pushes oxygen into the lungs by force, but it is hard for many people to use. As well as helping to change the way you breathe, DNA straightens your teeth while creating more aesthetic facial features.  A wide full smile is one benefit of the DNA Appliance but it allows us to permanently correct growth discrepancies without surgical intervention.

 Find out if it’s right for you

While you may be excited about the creation of this new sleep apnea treatment, you should get an evaluation of your health status in relation to your snoring and breathing problems which will determine if DNA or RNA appliance is right for you.

Do I Have a Sleep Disorder?

Dr. Shapira Sleep Disorder 0 Comments

A sleep disorder has to be taken seriously…

sleep-disorder-chicagoIf you find yourself constantly battling fatigue, feeling as if your sleep is disrupted on a nightly basis, or if your family complains about your snoring, you could have an underlying sleep disorder. There are several, common sleep issues that plague many individuals, robbing them of a good night’s rest and leaving them sleep-deprived.

When sleep doesn’t come easily or if you never seem to fall into that deep restful state, a more serious problem could be at the heart of the matter.

Your symptoms are your clue

Sleep disorders are a major problem in the United States. In fact, over 40 million Americans suffer from a some kind of chronic disorder that disrupts their sleeping patterns. Doubly disturbing is in many cases it goes undiagnosed.

To determine if you are one of the millions, it’s important to pay attention to your symptoms. The following are common symptoms for many people who struggle to get the required amount of quality sleep on a nightly basis:

  • Snoring
  • Gasping for breath in the middle of the night
  • Always feeling tired, regardless of how much sleep you get
  • Waking with a morning headache
  • Bruxism and/or jaw pain
  • Having a lack of energy
  • Finding it difficult to maintain concentration
  • Short term memory loss
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Gatric reflux and related sinus issues
  • Awakening multiple times during the night

If any of these symptoms apply to you, we recommend you seek help to pinpoint the source of your problem before you find yourself dealing with more serious health concerns.

Why treat your sleep disorder?

Everyone has a sleepless night on occasion. However, when it happens on a regular basis for an extended period of time, it can wreak havoc on your health. People with untreated sleep disorders are at a greater risk of developing:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Depression
  • Stroke
  • Memory loss
  • Cancer
  • Premature aging and early onset age-related disorders
  • Associated with earlier onset of Alzheimer’s and Dementia in patients at risk

In addition to these medical conditions, the sleep deprivation that comes with a sleep disorder can impact your safety, job performance, and relationships.

Which sleep disorder is plaguing you?

There are many types of disorders that hinder a person’s ability to sleep well.

Insomnia

There are two primary types of insomnia, sleep onset insomnia and maintenance insomnia

Onset Insomnia is a very common problem faced by Americans. People with onset insomnia have difficulty falling asleep. People with maintenance insomnia wake up and can’t get back to sleep. They are very different disorders and both can occur in the same individual. As a result, they don’t get adequate sleep or have poor-quality sleep leading to a multitude of medical problems.

  • Acute insomnia (lasting a few days to a few weeks) is usually due to stress, family pressures or a traumatic event.
  • Chronic insomnia (lasting a month or longer) is usually a symptom of an underlying problem or side effect of a medication.
  • Maintenance insomnia is usual the result of another primary sleep disorder such as sleep apnea or restless legs.

Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is another common disorder that involves sudden onset of sleep at any time. People who suffer from narcolepsy often have vivid dreams because they fall into REM sleep quickly and wake up from it suddenly.

Researchers suspect low levels of Hypocretin (hi-po-KREET-in), a brain chemical that helps keep you wakeful is the cause of narcolepsy. So far, what causes the low levels isn’t well understood.

While, currently there is no cure for narcolepsy, symptoms can be alleviated through medication and lifestyle changes.

Restless leg syndrome (RLS)

Restless leg syndrome involves a condition that causes a strong urge to move your legs. It occurs because of unpleasant feelings in your legs that are relieved when you move them. These feelings are described by suffers as:

  • Creeping
  • Crawling
  • Pulling
  • Itching
  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • Aching
  • Electric

Some people also feel this in their arms because these feeling tend to happen when you’re at rest they can keep you awake.

Periodic leg movements in sleep actually causes disturbed sleep frequently leading to awakenings and is most common in patients with RLS.

Upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) may exacerbate or cause restless legs during sleep. Fibromyalgia can also occur from disturbed sleep caused by UARS as can other chronic pain disorders. There is a specific sleep marker for Fibromyalgia called Alpha Intrusion into Delta Sleep, this is awake brain waves during deep sleep and can be caused by numerous sleep disorders.

Treatment for restless leg syndrome usually involves lifestyle changes or medication. If it is caused airway obstruction it may disappear with treating of snoring or sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea , UARS, RERAs and Snoring

Sleep apnea is another serious condition that impedes sleep. Many people who suffer from this condition are not even aware that they have a problem. This disorder usually stems from an obstruction of the airway at night that causes the victim to be jerked awake after the body stops breathing.

Frequently patients think they wake multiple time to urinate and are unaware of the far more serious underlying causes.

These episodes can happen hundreds of times during the night and last up to a minute in duration. It’s a serious condition that robs the body of essential oxygen and places a major burden on the heart. Snoring can be an indicator of sleep apnea.

Snoring can cause serious problems in the absence of apnea. Patients who snore have a 300% increase in Motor Vehicle Accidents and severe snoring can lead to atherosclerosis of the carotid arteries that supply blood to the brain.

Snoring, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, RERAs respiratory-related arousals hypopnea and apnea are variations in the severity of upper airway obstructions during sleep.

Sleep apnea can be treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), surgery or sleep orthotics that help keep the airways open.

Live the Better Life that comes with Better Sleep

In many cases, disorders involving your sleep can be addressed through lifestyle changes.

Eliminating stress, increasing exercise, and losing weight may get to the source of your sleepless nights. Meditation and massage may be helpful, as well as establishing a regular, sleep pattern. Prescription medication from your doctor can also help.

In the case of sleep apnea, a sleep airway orthotic fitted by a expert Sleep Apnea Dentist or Physiologic TMJ treatment can help realign your jaw to keep your airway from closing while you sleep. The DNA Appliance and Epigenetic Orthodontics may permanently correct your sleep disorder while improving your appearance and posture.

Whatever your sleep disorder, it’s important to pinpoint the cause and get the correct treatment. Without restful sleep, your health will suffer.