Sleep Apnea Treatment

Dr. Shapira Sleep Apnea Treatment 0 Comments

Suffering from sleep problems like snoring and trouble breathing?

sleep-apnea-treatmentAre you having problems sleeping and keep waking up at night suddenly, as well as snoring loudly? You could have something called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is surprisingly common right across America. It can occur at any age and to either gender, but it is more common amongst older males.  Many patients have sleep apnea, sometimes severe but do not fit the typical pattern.

It is quite simply the narrowing or blockage of the airway while you are asleep. This means at times there is a restriction in the amount of oxygen you take into the lungs. The outcome of this could be trouble breathing and snoring.  Patients who have sleep apnea usually have a smaller airway when awake as well and are predisposed to apnea when their muscles are relaxed.  Patients with forward head posture or recessive chins are at greater risk for sleep apnea.

These are some typical symptoms of sleep apnea:

  • Loud and persistent snoring
  • Persistent sleepiness during the day
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Decrease in work efficiency
  • Morning headaches
  • Morning dry mouth
  • Needing to hit the snooze button on your alarm
  • difficult to control diabetes
  • Weight Gain or altered metabolism

What’s causing that sleep apnea?

Quite a lot of research has gone into finding out what causes sleep apnea. Some of the causes are listed below:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Thick necks
  • Acid reflux
  • Large tongues relative to the size of the mouth.
  • Sleeping on your back (supine)

What these tend to do is relax the muscles in your airway so much that it might become difficult for you to breathe. A dental solution may be available, in the form of some oral appliances which can help to let you get more sleep, but you may need to tackle lifestyle changes too.

A treatment that fits in the palm of your hand

An oral appliance can help with sleep apnea treatment, but does not cure the problem. It can help to relieve the symptoms and there are many available for you to choose from.

Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP)

This is a comfortable, adjustable mouthpiece, which helps to make sure your airway is kept open so that you can maintain correct breathing. The device pushes your lower jaw forward into such a position that the airway remains open.  Better breathing takes place with less snoring so you and your partner can get a decent night’s sleep.

The MAS – Dorsal Fin Device, made by SomnoMed

This is a custom-made oral appliance, which is made up of upper and lower dental plates with a specially designed fin-coupling piece allowing the mouth to open and close normally. This device helps to adjust your jaw level. This improves the comfort level and effectiveness of your treatment, as the jaw is only moved as far as is necessary to reduce sleep apnea and alleviate snoring so that you can sleep better.

Herbst Telescopic Appliance

This appliance may be effective if you are a chronic snorer and also have moderate to mild obstructive sleep apnea. This adjustable appliance should allow you to move your jaw both laterally and vertically, eliminating the necessity to disengage it. It is fitted onto your teeth with clasps, but friction helps to hold it in place too. If it is first positioned in the wrong place it can be removed and repositioned using shims to ensure a sufficient supply of oxygen reaches your lungs.

In some cases, we may recommend dental treatments such as orthodontics or a mouth reconstruction (with veneers, implants, and other treatments) to help treat your sleep problems

Could one of these work for you?

If after reading this you think there is a solution to relieve your sleep apnea symptoms, then you may need to have a thorough examination to determine what is the root cause of your sleep disorder. We may be able to help you breathe better and help reduce sleep disorder symptoms by fitting a suitable orthotic device.

Sleep Disorders and Concentration Problems

Dr. Shapira Trouble Concentrating 0 Comments

Are sleep disorders and concentration problems linked?

concentration-problems-chicagoAre you having a hard time concentrating on what you are doing? Do you find it difficult to get enough sleep, feel tired all the time and just can’t seem to focus during the day? Sometimes, it seems easier just to carry on and cope, even if you are tired and having trouble concentrating, but this isn’t a long term solution.

You may have a sleep disorder. Even though you think you have had enough hours asleep, it might not be the right kind of sleep that is good enough to make you feel refreshed in the morning.

When you have Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) or other conditions that disturb your sleep it disrupts your normal sleep cycle.  Stage four Delta sleep and REM sleep are both important for memory, learning and cognition.  These are the first types of sleep that are usually lost.

In Children sleep disordered breathing is thought to cause over 80- 95% of ADD and ADHD as well as other behavioral disorders.  Early treatment can prevent these problems.  Dr Shapira recently lectured in Buenos Aires, Argentina on the common developmental factors of sleep disorders and TMJ.  In adults we treat the disorders but in children we can prevent the problems.  Early diagnosis is key.

What’s behind your scatterbrain?

Sleep disorders aren’t the kinds of problems you are likely to share as you are never fully aware of them. If you snore or suddenly let out a gasp in the night when your airways are desperate for air, it’s your partner (if you have one) who will typically wake up first.

Short Term memory loss frequently accompanies problems with concentration.  Poor sleep has been shown to cause this type of memory loss and it can become permaent if you wait to log to treat it.  The combination of poor concentration and memory makes it extremely difficult to fisish tasks and often affects school of work performance.

If your partner claims you constantly snore or grunt as you try to sleep, you may have a sleeping disorder called sleep apnea. You may have to do something to eliminate your sleep problem so that you can both get an undisturbed night’s sleep and allow you to concentrate more easily, too.

A dental solution to your concentration problem

If you have trouble focusing and are constantly tired, a dental solution may be able to help. There are some useful proven appliances available that we can use to help improve your sleep disorder. The most common type of sleep appliance used are the Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD).  They are the most studied and usually the most effective type of appliance.  There are over 100 types of Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs) and Dr Shapira will help you find the best device for your specific disorder.  He has treated thousands of patients with sleep disorders over the last 30 years and is an expert in the field.  The Tongue Retaining Device (TRD), is an older alternative to the MAD which is made in a lab from a material which can easily be adapted to the teeth’s contours and dental arches.  It is sometimes the ideal choice for denture patients who do not have teeth to secure a MAD.  The tongue often blocks the airway, so a TRD can help solve that as do advancement devices.

The TAP appliance is one of the most effective appliances for treating sleep apnea and snoring.  It is usually the first choice when patients have severe sleep apnea.  Other comfortable appliances include the Somnomed and Respire appliances, The SUAD, the Telescopic Herbst and other types of Herbst appliances.

Get your focus back

If you can’t concentrate easily in the day time and are constantly tired but have tried without success to find a solution, we may be able to help you eliminate a potential sleep disorder with one of our dental devices. When you are able to sleep more easily, you should be able to get your focus back.

Patients with untreated sleep apnea have a 600% increase in motor vehicle accidents and a recent study showed an increase of 1500%.  Even mild apnea with no symptoms of tiredness has been shown to cause 300% increase in motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) with serious injury to one or more people.