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Dentist Chicago | TMJ Chicago



What our clients say | Dentist Chicago


A scientific approach,
with a personal connection


ira2Dr. Ira Shapira: “I love science. Science provides the necessary facts, to better understand people’s issues as a healthcare provider. Applying these facts properly (recognizing that every individual deserves personalized focus, attention and treatment), is the key to Effective TMJ and Sleep Disorder Solutions.”


What is a TMJ disorder?

Everyone experiences the occasional headache, shoulder pain, or sore neck. Most of the time we can dismiss the cause as nothing more than stress or our busy lives, but, when pain becomes a daily occurrence or is accompanied by other symptoms, there could be something more going on.

Learn More

What is a sleep disorder?

If you find yourself constantly battling fatigue, feeling as if your sleep is disrupted on a nightly basis, or if your family complaints about your snoring, you could have an underlying sleep disorder. There are several, common sleep issues (e.g.: sleep apnea) that plague many individuals like you.

Learn More

Why Dr. Ira Shapira?

“I like to think of my patients as though they were members of my family. I want them to have the quality of care they can appreciate and that I would expect for myself or my family. That’s why I try to stay current with the latest findings in the field of Physiologic (TMJ) and Sleep Disorder dentistry.

Learn More

Like to know more? Download our FREE eBook

  • Preventive Care 3Sleep Disorder Treatment

    When you find it difficult to sleep or your sleep is disrupted night after night, we recommend you take steps to determine if you have a sleep disorder and seek an effective remedy.

    Free Sleep Disorder E-Book
  • Frequent headaches?

    It’s time to get rid of those headaches once and for all. Set up a consultation with us to discuss the connection between your chronic headaches and a potential TMJ disorder.

    Free TMJ Disorder E-Book
  • ZahnarztNeck & Back Pain

    Once relieved of your pain, you’ll be amazed at how good it feels to comfortably move in a pain free fashion again. Normal physiology and function promotes ongoing health and wellness.

    Free TMJ Disorder E-Book

Sick and tired of TMJ pain or sleep problems?

 

Meet Dr. Ira Shapira
at Think Better Life




Oral Appliance Therapy in Treating Sleep Apnea in an Asian Population.

admin Sleep 0 Comments

Treatment of Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliaaces is a well accepted first line approach for mild to moderate sleep apnea.  Long term outcome studies in patients with cardiovascular disease are equal to treatment with CPAP and preferred by 90% of patients.

A new study has confirmed these findings in an Asian Population.  This was the first studyin an Asian population.  As expected the Mandibular Advancement Appliance worked well for the majority of patients.  Please see Pub Med abstract below:

 

Laryngoscope. 2014 Jan 24. doi: 10.1002/lary.24607. [Epub ahead of print]

Adjustable thermoplastic mandibular advancement device for obstructive sleep apnea: Outcomes and practicability.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS:

To assess outcomes including efficacy, adverse effects, and quality of life (QOL) of an adjustable thermoplastic mandibular advancement device (AT-MAD) fitted by an otolaryngologist for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) treatment.

STUDY DESIGN:

Prospective, nonrandomized, before-after study.

METHODS:

Sixty-four adult patients (40 men and 24 women) were recruited. Inclusion criteria were OSA patients who had failed or refused treatment with continuous positive airway pressure and surgery. Exclusion criteria were insufficient teeth, active intraoral disease, and temporomandibular joint(TMJ) disorders. Outcomes were measured using polysomnography, symptom questionnaires, Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), and Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire (FOSQ) before treatment and 4 to 6 months thereafter.

RESULTS:

Mean apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) and ESS scores decreased from 17.7 ± 14.6 to 7.5 ± 10.9 and from 8.7 ± 4.9 to 6.5 ± 4.4, respectively, after treatment (P < .001). Thirty-nine patients (60.9%) achieved post-treatment AHI of <5, with the highest success rate in those with mild OSA (75%). FOSQ global scores increased from 16.4 ± 2.8 to 17.7 ± 3.0 (P < .05), along with most FOSQ subscale scores. Thirty-four patients (53.1%) regularly used the device for ≥5 nights per week. Adverse effects include TMJ discomfort, dry mouth, and excessive salivation, which were largely tolerable. Only four patients withdrew from the study because of adverse effects.

CONCLUSIONS:

This is the first study in Asians demonstrating that an AT-MAD, if done properly, is a practical short-term treatment of OSA, with good outcomes including improved QOL. Its advantages are its low cost and ready-to-use nature. However, further randomized controlled trials are required.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

4 Laryngoscope, 2014.

© 2014 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.

KEYWORDS:

Asian; Obstructive sleep apnea; Somnoguard; Thai; mandibular advancement splint; oral appliances; quality of life; thermoplastic

PMID:

 24458949

[PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

 …

BREATHING EXERCISES FOR SLEEP APNEA AND SNORING

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THERE IS EXCELLENT EVIDENCE THAT VARIOUS BREATHING EXERCISES CAN IMPROVE SLEEP APNEA AND SNORING.

Several years ago an article in the British Medical Journal showed that learning to play the DIDGERIDOO  and especially learning how to do the circular breathing required could reduce sleep apnea and snoring.   I have long taught my TMJ and Headache patients breathing exercises to reduce pain and dysfunction.  I have also have many patients who have learned proper breating in yoga classes.

There have been other articles about breathing exercises helping numerous problems.  A new study looked at breathing exercises to reduce post operative problems in cardithoracic and upper abdominable surgery.

Incorrect breathing following childbirth is probably related to post partum depression and chronic muscle pain and headache.  Normal breathing becomes impossible near the end of pregnancy.  Diaphragmatic breathing becomes impossible and the expectant mother switches to thoracic breathing.  Many never return to their health breathing patterns.  Children with allergies and asthma, patients who snore or have small airways (patients with apnea or UARS)  frequently do not do diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing.

Postoperative outcomes following preoperative inspiratory muscle training in patients undergoing cardiothoracic or upper abdominal surgery: a systematic review and meta analysis.

The article concludes that training breathing muscles “Preoperative inspiratory muscle training significantly improves respiratory (muscle) function in the early postoperative period, halving the risk of pulmonary complications.”  If we can improve surgical outcomes when we are most at risk, imgagine the improvments in health we could see in the general public.

I strongly believe TMJ, Headache, Migraine and Sleep Apnea patients can benefit from a program addressing their breathing.  An excellent site to learn more about breathing exercises is Breathing.com

 

The Pub Med  abstract is below:

Clin Rehabil. 2014 Aug 26. pii: 0269215514545350. [Epub ahead of print]

Postoperative outcomes following preoperative inspiratory muscle training in patients undergoing cardiothoracic or upper abdominal surgery: a systematic review and meta analysis.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate whether preoperative inspiratory muscle training is effective in preventing postoperative pulmonary complications and reducing length of hospital stay in people undergoing cardiothoracic or upper abdominal surgery.

DATA SOURCES:

Medline, CINAHL, AMED, PsychINFO, Scopus, PEDro, and the Cochrane Library.

REVIEW METHODS:

A systematic review and meta analysis of randomized controlled trials (or quasi-randomized controlled trials) investigating a form of preoperative inspiratory muscle training, compared with sham or no inspiratory muscle training. Participants were adults (16 years and over) awaiting elective open cardiac, thoracic, or upper abdominal surgery. Methodological quality was assessed using the PEDro scale.

RESULTS:

Eight studies involving 295 participants were eligible for inclusion. The trained group had significantly higher maximal inspiratory pressure at the end of the preoperative training period (mean difference: 15 cm H2O, 95% confidence interval (CI): 9 to 21). This benefit was maintained through the early postoperative period, when lung function also recovered significantly more quickly in the trained group. Inspiratory muscle training also substantially reduced postoperative pulmonary complications (relative risk 0.48, 95% CI 0.26 to 0.89). Although not statistically significant, length of hospital stay also tended to favour the trained group. There were no statistically significant differences between the groups for the remaining outcomes. Participant satisfaction with inspiratory muscle training was high.

CONCLUSION:

Preoperative inspiratory muscle training significantly improves respiratory (muscle) function in the early postoperative period, halving the risk of pulmonary complications. The training does not increase length of stay, but more data are required to confirm whether it reduces length of stay.

© The Author(s) 2014.

KEYWORDS:

Systematic review; cardiothoracic surgery; preoperative care; respiratory muscle training; upper abdominal surgery

PMID:

 25160007

[PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Patient Testimonials: TMJ, Orofacial Pain and Sleep Disorders

Video Testimonials

There are over 140 additional YouTube testimonial videos on my YouTube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk9Bfz6pklC7_UluWFHzLrg/videos

Neuromuscular Dentistry TMJ Testimonials on Reddit:

https://www.reddit.com/search?q=neuromusculardent


Dear Dr. Shapira,
I wanted to thank you for taking my sense of fatigue seriously and trying to help me overcome it. You noticed things that sent me to a surgeon to stop my snoring and fashioned a mouth guard for me. This is in addition to other tips you have given me.

I appreciate you asking for my recent blood tests and analyzing them. You even went a step further and contacted my internist. She suggested, as did you, I see an endocrinologist. I have an appointment next month and will request you receive a copy of the results.

Again, thank you for caring.

– Bonnie S.


Dr. Shapira, or as I like to call him, Ira, is an angel in every sense of the word; blessed with a great brain and a greater heart and his hands work pretty good, too. His top qualities are that he provides great results, he’s an expert, and he is creative. I will never forget his devotion to one client he met with for eighteen months, on a weekly basis, at Rush Pres St. Luke’s who still has never received a bill for all services provided. May God bless you and yours always.

– Patrice C.


My longtime acupuncturist recommended Dr. Ira Shapira as an expert on Sleep Apnea when I shared with her my frustrations with my CPAP. Less than three months later, (and a sleep study to prove it), I am cured of my moderate condition of sleep apnea. Dr. Shapira created an oral appliance that is easy to sleep with and maintain. I am so relieved, feeling much better, significantly fewer headaches and more energy I would recommend Dr. Shapira to anyone. His knowledge of dentistry goes well beyond the norm. Anyone that suffers from TMJ and or sleep disorders should have a consult.

– Karen G.


I saw Dr Shapira for TMJ problems and chronic Migraines. I wore a plastic appliance for several months. All of my issues with jaw locking and clicking resolved as did my daily headaches and chronic migraines. I no longer have dark circles under my eyes either.
I could not afford a full mouth reconstruction but have been wearing a permanent appliance for several years on my bottom teeth..Expensive but worth it.
I did have 10 veneers done and now have killer smile, partially because I am no longer in chronic pain.

K.C.

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I have been a patient for over 15 yrs. When I came to Dr. Shapira I was in very bad TMJ pain. He and his staff worked with me for hours and when I left that day the pain was gone. I continued treatment until my bite was fully corrected and not only that but thanks to Dr Shapira’s talent in cosmetic dentistry, my teeth look more beautiful then they ever have. Dr Shapira and the staff continue to gain education on the most innovative ways to help people look and feel good. The staff there are very kind and I always so cared for when I go for my appointments.

Michelle H.

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I received TMJ treatments from Dr. Shapira and I was pleased with the results. I had terrible migraines as well as smaller headaches for as long as I could remember and they dissipated upon receiving treatment. I would recommend Dr. Shapira to anyone with TMJ.I received TMJ treatments from Dr. Shapira and I was pleased with the results. I had terrible migraines as well as smaller headaches for as long as I could remember and they dissipated upon receiving treatment. I would recommend Dr. Shapira to anyone with TMJ.

– Christopher J.


I was referred to Dr. Shapira for TMJ issues almost 30 years ago. Not only did the TMJ treatment plan resolve my issues but, over the years, I’ve also received excellent dental care and had some cosmetic work done, which I am very pleased with. Dr. Shapira has a real passion for what he does, and that passion has brought him vast knowledge and expertise. I trust him completely. Also, Barb has been my hygienist over those 30 years and I am completely pleased and satisfied with her skills and commitment to keeping my teeth and gums in the best condition possible. I’ve had Dr. Amidei a few times over the years when Dr. Shapira was not available and those interactions led me to believe that he is of the same top caliber as the rest of the Delany Dental Care staff.

– MK


Rating: 5.0 5.0 stars,
By: Charlene Bown
On: Google, 05/11/2018
Comment: I cannot imagine my dental work ever being done by any other dentist than Dr. Shapira!! I have been seeing higm for several years to help correct my sleep apnea. I cannot tolerate CPap so Dr. Shapira created an oral device that has literally been saving my life!!! I am a high risk patient and absolutely swear that I might not even be here if it weren’t for this incredible Doctor! He knows more about medicine from all different perspectives than most of my doctors and has exceptional skill in the practice of dentistry!! I truly believe this man is also a philosopher, a practitioner in natural remedies and has become a very special person in my life. Don’t even bother seeing any other dentist cause after you have seen Dr. Shapira you will be horribly disappointed!! I highly recommend Delany Dental for a real experience in what dentistry should be and rarely is!!!

I’ve been seeing Dr Shapira since 1998. In college I developed severe TMJ symptoms where I could no longer open my mouth more than an inch. I saw numerous specialists all over the state, visited top hospitals including the Mayo clinic. My family spent a lot of money and I got no relief from my symptoms. It wasn’t until my mom called the TMJ association in Texas and got Dr Shapira’s name. I was skeptical when I had my first appointment at Delany Dental Care but I was told it’d be a long road to recovery but I’d eventually be pain free. Within the first month of treatment, I noticed the headaches lessened. A few months later I could open my mouth further and within a year I had many days were I was able to forget about TMJ. This practice gave me my life back. While I still have some symptoms a few days a year, I am overall pain free. I was told though once you have TMJ as severe as my case; it would be something that I would have to deal with for the rest of my life but for the most part; most days I will not even know I have it.

– MEK


I am so grateful for Think Better Life and Dr. Shapira. I have been suffering from TMJ for 10+ years and have been to countless dentists who all have told me that I am “fine.” Dr. Shapira was the first dentist to actually listen to my pain, thoroughly examine me, and talk me through my options. My first meeting with him lasted over an hour! Dr. Shapira is not only a great dentist, he is an incredible human being: kind, compassionate, and sincere. After only a month, I am already beginning to feel relief from my chronic headaches and facial pain. It is a feeling I honestly didn’t know was possible. Think Better Life is a warm, caring, and friendly office. Dr. Shapira and his entire staff have are truly competent and hospitable!

Laila N.


When I came to Doctor Shapira I was at the end of my road with severe TMJ pain. I went to many doctors and somehow no one could solve my problem. After many months of research I found Dr. Shapira’s website. I was hesitant to make the appointment due to the distance I would have to drive and feeling hopeless, but after being astonished from watching all the testimonials on his website I thought it was worth a shot.

At the first visit I could instantly tell he had superior knowledge about my issues than other doctors I met with previously. He was open and honest about my condition, the long treatment plan, and the high cost of care. Although this information was intimidating, I finally knew what the saying meant “health is wealth”, life is not worth living in constant pain and discomfort. Therefore, I decided to proceed with his treatment plan.

1 year later I can honestly say that it has been the best money I have ever spent. I am about ~80% better and I will hopefully continue to improve over time. The constant clicking and popping of my jaw is gone, I have normal range of motion again, and most importantly I am mostly pain free.

Not only is Dr. Shapira one of the best and most knowledgeable practitioners I have encountered, he treats you like family and is honestly one of the most interesting people I have ever met. I never leave his office without learning a fun new fact. He truly cares about his patients and work. You can tell he loves what he does. I can’t recommend him enough if you have TMJ pain/issues.

BRITTANY B.


I’ve been seeing Dr Shapira since 1998. In college I developed severe TMJ symptoms where I could no longer open my mouth more than an inch. I saw numerous specialists all over the state, visited top hospitals including the Mayo clinic. My family spent a lot of money and I got no relief from my symptoms. It wasn’t until my mom called the TMJ association in Texas and got Dr Shapira’s name. I was skeptical when I had my first appointment at Delany Dental Care but I was told it’d be a long road to recovery but I’d eventually be pain free. Within the first month of treatment, I noticed the headaches lessened. A few months later I could open my mouth further and within a year I had many days were I was able to forget about TMJ. This practice gave me my life back. While I still have some symptoms a few days a year, I am overall pain free. I was told though once you have TMJ as severe as my case; it would be something that I would have to deal with for the rest of my life but for the most part; most days I will not even know I have it.

– MK


Dr. Shapira has been treating me for TMJ. We started with an oral appliance to relax the jaw and make a better bite. Then we went to a DNA Appliance. I have been pain free since almost day one. Now I can’t wait to see the results of the DNA which will reshape my jaw so I won’t need an appliance in the future. Dr Shapira is a miracle worker. His staff is Awesome as well!

Suzan B.


Very Caring and professional staff! Most definitely the best dentists I have ever been to. After an orthodontic mistake that left me disfigured and with a few less teeth, I was feeling very sad and hopeless. I decided to check out restorative dentistry. They basically pointed out everything and how your jaw can affect your entire body. The doctors were very kind, considering I was in tears. They were completely understanding. They also specialize in sleep dentistry. They did a sleep study on me and I got to choose where I could have it done. They will definitely get my business in the future.

– Marty S


Terrific place for Dental and TMJ healing…I’ve been a patient for 13 years. Not only did they fix my cavities very well, but the incredible relief from my jaw problems was unexpected. My jaw would sometimes lock up on one side, and Dr. Ira discovered that my bite was misaligned. I had the painless TENS treatment, wore a plastic appliance made for my mouth (like a retainer), and then my jaw was fixed, my bite was fixed, and my jaw pain was gone!!
Better still, this treatment apparently also aligned my sinuses, because my life-long sinus congestion disappeared. AND, I no longer require a small shim my right shoe for which I had long ago been diagnosed as having needed “because” one leg was longer than the other — which is no longer the case! Alignment works! This is a great place to get healed for life!!

– Marty S


I have going to this practice for 23 yrs. with Dr. Mark Amidei as my dentist and Dr. Ira Shapira for my Sleep Apnea.
I can not say enough about their staff, friendly and professional.
I enjoy going to the dentist.
A+ all around. Do yourself a favor and look no more, call and make an appointment. You will not be disappointed.
I began working with Dr. Shapira several months ago regarding a case of debilitating TMJ. He uses innovative technology to measure jaw movement, ensuring that his splint treatment is precise. He also works with patients to help them understand and treat the muscular component of TMJ (something not offered by the four previous dentists I had seen for my condition). Dr. Shapira works in conjunction with Dr. Mark Freund of Natural Care Chiropractic for TMJ cases; together they are relentless in finding a solution for their patients. I have been particularly impressed that both doctors continually seek out further education and knowledge in their respective fields. I cannot recommend their work enough!

– DS


I don’t know where my health would be without Dr. Shapira. I have been a TMJ patient for 20 years. I had no idea that TMJ treatment can effect your sinus, sleep, and migraine health as well. Dr. Shapira has been a lifesaver for me more times than I can count. This past January we started DNA treatment which stands for Day and Night Appliance. The improvement I’m already feeling is incredible! I wear this new, comfortable appliance 12 hours a day-basically after dinner and while I sleep. It is expanding my upper and lower jaw which is going to correct my TMJ, open my breathing passages, and greatly improve my allergy and chronic sinus infections. It’s mind-blowing how all of my medical issues are inter-twined with what Dr. Shapira treats. He is always on the cusp of the newest technology and treatments and many of his treatments offer instant relief. Dr. Shapira and his staff treat everyone like family. You couldn’t be in wiser or better hands.

Barbara K


I have been a patient of Dr Shapira and Dr Amidei for the past 24 years. My husband, myself and our three sons are all patients here and I cannot speak highly enough about everyone there! Dr Shapira diagnosed me with TMJ issues about 15 years ago and I have worn a night guard appliance from him ever since. I noticed a remarkable difference within a few nights of starting the appliance and have never had any uncomfortable issues with TMJ since then. Both doctors have seen all three of our sons since they were toddlers. Barb, one of their hygienists, has been treating our entire family these past 24 years and she is the absolute best.
Two years ago, Dr Shapira helped me with the decision to get porcelein veneers and I am thrilled with the results! The level of expertise he has, the wealth of knowledge that both doctors have, the kindness and care that everyone there displays – honestly, there is no place I would rather go and I have recommended many friends to this practice.
You can really tell that at Delany Dental Care, everyone there is treated like they are part of their family. Everyone there makes you feel like you are as important to them as members of their own family. I highly recommend this practice to anyone looking for themselves or their entire family to be treated! You cannot go wrong with choosing Delany Dental!

– DS

100+ VIDEO TESTIMONIALS https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk9Bfz6pklC7_UluWFHzLrg/videos…

Sleep Disorder Treatment

Dr. Shapira Sleep Disorder Treatment 0 Comments

Is lack of sleep or poor sleep impacting your life?

sleep-disorder-treatmentEveryone has a sleepless night on occasion, whether you’re waiting up for your teen to come home from a party or a pressing matter is making sleep elusive. However, when sleep evades you on a regular basis, it could be an indicator of a more serious problem and you may need sleep disorder treatment.

It is normal to wake up and feel great in the morning, if you are slow to wake or always feel you need more sleep or constantly hitting the snooze button on your alarm you probably are not having quality sleep.

When you find it difficult to sleep or your sleep is disrupted night after night, we recommend you take steps to determine if you have a sleep disorder and seek an effective remedy.

Signs a sleep disorder is in gear

While an occasional restless night or bout of sleeplessness is normal, chronic sleep deprivation can have serious consequences to your health, mood, and safety.

How do you know if your sleeplessness is an indication of something more serious? Here are a few signs to watch for:

  • Agitation during the day
  • Lack of concentration or short term memory loss
  • Feeling sleepy all the time
  • Feeling like you never get enough sleep, even when you go bed early and wake up late
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Mood swings and irritably
  • A rise in blood pressure
  • Gasping for breath in the night
  • Periods when you snore
  • Seeping in fits and spurts, waking suddenly
  • Marital discord due to poor communication

If you find yourself struggling with any of these issues, getting to the root of your problem will help you find effective treatment.

The consequences of poor sleep or sleeplessness

Inadequate sleep over a prolonged period of time can have a negative impact on your health. People who are deprived of sleep on a long term basis are at a higher risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression. Obesity is another consequence of unhealthy sleep as disruptions in sleep patterns slow the body’s metabolism and cause weight gain that is hard to reverse.

Your body requires sleep to recharge, rejuvenate, and keep all systems functioning at optimal levels. Good Sleep is at the core of an anti-aging medical protocol.

Could sleep apnea be hijacking your sleep?

Over 40 million Americans are fighting with some type of sleep-related problem. While there is a broad range of conditions that can affect the quality of your sleep, sleep apnea has been getting a lot of attention in recent years.

Sleep apnea involves the obstruction of your airway during sleep. In the most severe cases, people have been known to experience bouts when they do not breathe as often as 400 times a night. Each time your breath stops, your brain jerks you awake to restart your breathing. The resulting sleep and oxygen deprivation is what causes the serious health risks associated with obstructive sleep apnea.

Snoring can be an indicator of sleep apnea, it may also be a sign of a milder airway restriction although it is never a harmless problem. Sometimes snoring is more disturbing to significant others than the one who snores. The spouse of snorers can lose as much as 15% of their sleep. Snoring can cause serious medical problems over time in some people including carotid atherosclerosis or blockage of blood flow to the brain

Get back to sleep with sleep disorder treatment

When you are dealing with an issue that is getting in the way of your sleep, it’s important to diagnose the specific problem and find a cure or treatment.

The good news about sleep apnea is it’s treatable. Many times making simple changes to your habits could bring about a good night’s rest.

  • Try establishing a regular pattern at night, going to bed at the same time on a daily basis and doing relaxing activities before bed
  • Stop eating and don’t drink drink alcohol several hours before bed. This will settle your digestive system and stop your throat muscles from over relaxing
  • Lose weight
  • Practice relaxation techniques and exercise during the day to relieve stress

If home remedies do not help, plan a visit to Dr. Shapira to investigate if a custom or commercial sleep airway orthotic, TMJ treatment or epigenetic orthodontics could get you back to healthy sleep. Epigenetic orthodontics can cure sleep apnea by growing a larger airway, a process called pneumopedics.

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.