Do you ever feel like no matter how much you sleep at night, you end up feeling exhausted the next day?
Such a feeling could point to sleep apnea – a serious health condition – and you need to invest in an effective sleep apnea treatment.
How can you tell if you really have sleep apnea? What type of treatment options are available to you? And why is it so important to do something to control your sleep apnea?
Are You Really Getting a Good Night’s Sleep? How to Tell
Sleep apnea isn’t just an annoying condition in which you snore a lot. Rather, sleep apnea is a condition that can have multiple negative effects on your overall health. In fact, it has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and even death.
It’s important to find out if you have this condition so you can quickly take steps to remedy it with an effective sleep apnea treatment.
How can you tell if your sleep issues stem from sleep apnea? The best way to find out is by going to your doctor and requesting a sleep study. However, you might be able to get some valuable information on your own in the interim. Try recording yourself while you sleep or ask your partner to listen to you.
Excessive daytime sleepiness (along with the feeling that you could fall asleep anywhere and at any time)
Decreased sex drive or impotence
Headaches in the morning
Acid reflux (indigestion, heartburn, chest pain)
Is There a Safe, Effective Sleep Apnea Treatment Option?
You think you might have sleep apnea. What now?
The first thing you should do is get a definitive diagnosis from your physician. If you don’t have a physician, don’t worry. The team at Meyer Dental Group is partnered with a at-home sleep test company to help facilitate the necessary sleep test to get you started on the path to diagnosis.
Once you’ve received a definitive diagnosis from our partnered and licensed sleep doctor, you’ll be scheduled to discuss a sleep apnea treatment plan that can complement or replace the CPAP option.
Many patients don’t like or have a hard time sleeping with a CPAP machine. Dr. Tom Meyer has safe, comfortable CPAP alternatives. The most common option is a type of nightguard that helps to pull the lower jaw forward so that the soft tissues of your mouth and throat don’t obstruct your airway (as can happen when your muscles relax during sleep).
Schedule a Sleep Apnea Consult If You’re Ready for Improved Sleep and Health
Sleep apnea can have a profound effect not just on how well you sleep but also on your health. If you’re ready to take steps to improve your sleep and your health, you need to schedule a sleep apnea consultation with Dr. Meyer.
At your consultation, you’ll find out whether you need to see a doctor/sleep specialist and if you’re at risk or have already developed sleep apnea. Once you’ve received a definitive diagnosis from your doctor, you’ll be scheduled to discuss your sleep apnea treatment options.
Dr. Meyer will find a form of treatment that is safe, comfortable, and effective. Before you know it, you’ll start to feel like your old, well-rested self again.
Are you ready for a better night’s sleep? Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss the possibility of sleep apnea. You can call us at 847-827-6290 or schedule an appointment online.
Sleep apnea in Chicago is far more common than you may think. In fact, across the United States, more than 18 million Americans struggle with sleep apnea, with many cases going undiagnosed. Unfortunately, most people do not understand what sleep apnea is and write it off as snoring.
Sure, while those who experience sleep apnea do snore, the condition can lead to several different health consequences if left untreated.
Sleep Apnea Doesn’t Only Affect Your Sleeping Habits
The common misconception around sleep apnea is that it’s “just snoring,” and besides an unhappy partner, there are no real side effects worth worrying about. Unfortunately, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes intermittent pauses in breathing throughout the night, causing the brain to come out of its sleep cycle to force patients to begin breathing again.
Besides disruptive and poor-quality sleep, this condition can also increase the risk of other chronic health conditions, including:
High blood pressure/cardiovascular disease – including higher risks of stroke
Depression, anxiety and other mood disorders
Abnormalities in glucose metabolism – leading to diabetes
Low blood oxygen levels
A decrease in sexual desire
Weakened immune system
Reduced quality of life
Increases the risk of death
In short, sleep apnea can affect the entire body, and without proper treatment, it can lead to irreversible damage.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options and CPAP Alternatives
The good news for all those suffering from sleep apnea in the Chicago area is that there are a variety of medical and dental options available for sleep apnea treatment.
It’s important to point out that sleep apnea must be diagnosed by a medical professional. This is usually done by completing a sleep evaluation either at home or at a designated sleep disorder center. These tests monitor your breathing and other body functions as you sleep.
There are typically two tests that can be done:
Home sleep test: These tests can be done in the comfort of your own home and include wearing simple monitors that measure your blood oxygen level, heart rate, breathing, and airflow patterns.
Nocturnal polysomnography: Typically done at a designated sleep center and includes being hooked up to equipment that monitors your brain, heart and lung activity, breathing patterns, body movements (such as arm and leg), and your blood oxygen levels.
Once you’ve completed your test, your doctor will then make their diagnosis and discuss your treatment options with you.
There are several different sleep apnea treatments available; however, the most common treatment is the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. A CPAP machine works by delivering air pressure through a mask that is worn while you sleep. This air pressure is greater than that of the surrounding air, helping to keep your upper airway passages open.
While a CPAP machine is the most common treatment for those suffering from sleep apnea, there are a variety of CPAP alternatives to help combat sleep apnea and its many risks.
Chicago dentist, Dr. Tom Meyer, can help you by suggesting less burdensome appliances to help keep your airway open as you sleep. These dental appliances are custom-fitted and worn at night. They work by pushing your tongue forward so that it doesn’t fall back and block the entrance to your windpipe.
Chicago Sleep Apnea Treatment with Meyer Dental Group
Those suffering from sleep apnea in Chicago have options. Dr. Meyer works with you to create a custom plan to help you get relief from sleep apnea and a variety of other sleep disorders.
If you think you’re suffering from sleep apnea or have been diagnosed by a medical professional, then schedule a sleep apnea consultation with Dr. Meyer to see how our team can help.
You’ve been taking good care of your teeth over the years. You’ve flossed, brushed, and done everything your dentist, Dr. Tom Meyer, recommended to keep your teeth clean and white.
For the most part, you love your smile – except for the gap between your front teeth.
Spacing in your teeth may be small, but can still make you feel self-conscious. It can be caused by missing teeth, teeth shifting, thumb-sucking as a child, gum disease, or overgrown frenum (the tissue above the two front teeth).
Fortunately, there are several treatments to fix spacing in teeth. But since treatment options vary in cost and effectiveness, it can be tricky to decide which procedure is best for you.
Why Do You Need to Fix Spacing in Teeth?
Besides its effect on your confidence, widely spaced teeth may also affect your oral hygiene. Teeth gaps tend to trap food particles, which trigger bacteria and plaque build-up in your mouth. If unchecked, this may weaken your gums and teeth, causing complications such as periodontitis, tooth decay, and gingivitis.
Gaps between teeth can also result in a misaligned bite. This can make chewing difficult and painful, as well as cause pain in the jaw and ear. Worse still, chewing difficulties may force you to swallow large chunks of food, which can cause digestive problems.
How Can You Fix Spacing in Teeth?
Depending on the complexity of your situation, the following treatments are available to fix spacing in teeth in Chicago:
1. Dental Bonding
Dental bonding is the quickest, easiest, and cheapest way to fix spacing in teeth. Your Chicago dentist will shape and apply a tooth-colored resin material on the affected spot. They’ll then harden it with a special light to secure it in place.
A dental bonding procedure can be completed in a single dentist visit. It doesn’t involve the removal of the enamel, making it a reversal procedure.
Although this procedure is simple and economical, it has a few drawbacks. The composite material may stain over time and cause tooth discoloration. It’s also not as durable as other teeth restorations as the bonding material may break and chip off several years down the line.
If you’ve discolored and/or chipped teeth that also have gaps, veneers may be your best treatment option. They’re ceramic or porcelain shells that the dentist places and bonds over your teeth to cover gaps and other imperfections.
Veneers are a great option because they do not stain and they are far more permanent than bonding. The color and shape can be custom designed to look and feel more natural.
3. Braces and Invisalign
For more severe cases of teeth spacing, you may need to see Dr. Meyer to prescribe you the right braces or Invisalign.
Both techniques restore your teeth to their ideal position and improve your smile while promoting proper function.
Braces use metal brackets to restore your teeth to their normal position while Invisalign utilizes a set of clear plastic trays. A complimentary in office consultation can help you decide which option would be your best way to go.
As such, seeing an Invisalign dentist like Dr. Tom Meyer may be more appropriate if you want to fix teeth spacing.
Where Can You Fix Spacing in Teeth in Chicago?
Spacing in teeth can compromise your oral hygiene, cause bite issues, and even trigger digestive complications. On top of that, it can affect your confidence and leave you smiling less.
Thankfully, you can fix spacing in teeth and take control of your smile with Meyer Dental Group. Our qualified and experienced dentist prioritizes patient care and comfort. Whether you’re looking to repair a crooked smile or get a full mouth reconstruction, we’ll find a solution that helps you smile more confidently.
Consulting with a jaw pain specialist is critical in discerning the cause of any jaw popping, jaw locking or jaw pain that you may be experiencing. While treating symptoms with over-the-counter medications may provide temporary relief, the only way to permanently alleviate your symptoms is to address the root cause.
Dr. Tom Meyer has been caring for dental and chronic pain patients within the Chicago area since 1993. With over two decades of experience, Dr. Meyer and his team of knowledgeable staff can assist you in identifying and treating the root cause of pain, jaw popping and jaw locking, which is commonly caused by a misaligned bite.
5 Causes and Solutions of Jaw Popping and Locking
Jaw popping and locking is a source of pain and frustration to many, yet these symptoms can be caused by several medical conditions. To alleviate the symptoms that you may be experiencing, the root cause of your condition must be addressed.
1. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder is a prevalent culprit of pain that radiates from your jaw, ear, face, neck or shoulders. In addition to pain, common symptoms include:
Restricted jaw movements
Muscle spasms in your cheeks or your jaw
Clicking noises within your jaw joints
Tight facial muscles, especially within your jaw and cheeks
A ringing in your ears
The Temporomandibular Joint links your lower jawbone to your skull. This joint allows you to open your mouth, including to drink, eat or speak. In most cases of TMJ, patients exhibit a misaligned bite or malocclusion. If your teeth are not correctly positioned, this crucial joint will likely be improperly positioned as well.
2. Other Dental-Related Conditions
If you are experiencing severe or persistent jaw pain, you may be suffering from one of many dental-related conditions. Conditions related to your teeth or gums can lead to pain in your jaw, and that can radiate to other areas.
Dental conditions that can attribute to pain or jaw locking include:
Toothaches caused by an abscess or cavity
Tooth-related concerns, such as cracked, crowded or sensitive teeth
Gum disease, which can lead to damage to your jawbone
Dental damage, however, can be linked back to TMJ disorder and/or a misaligned bite. Because the bite pressure is not distributed evenly, there could be premature wear and tear taking place in the teeth.
Jaw popping and jaw locking can be caused by injury to your jaw or face. Like any other bone in your body, your jaw can be broken or knocked out of place. However, pain, popping or locking that is a result from trauma will generally be accompanied by other prevalent symptoms, including:
Whiplash can often cause TMJ disorder, and ultimately jaw pain. You may not notice the symptoms until days or weeks later after the damage has taken place. During whiplash, as the head is thrown backwards, the violent motion stretches the TMJs out of their range of motion. As a result, misaligning the TMJs and ultimately causing jaw pain and TMJ symptoms.
Jaw pain and jaw locking can be caused by certain joint-related conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder that can cause swelling within joints and damage to the spongy cartilage that allows your jaw to move smoothly. Therefore, this condition can leave your jaw feeling sore and stiff.
Find Relief with a Jaw Pain Specialist in Chicago
At Meyer Dental Group, you can find relief to TMJ disorder and its debilitating symptoms. In addition to these services, routine preventative care can assist in identifying dental and jaw problems early on or reduce the likelihood that an issue will develop.
By targeting the root cause of your pain, jaw popping, clicking, or jaw locking – Dr. Tom Meyer can work with you towards fixing the problem at the source.
Pain and discomfort in your jaw can really ruin your day. At our Mount Prospect dentist office, we have seen it become chronic and truly debilitating. So, why do these issues come up? What causes your jaw to pop and lock up? What can you do to avoid it in the future?
Before discussing how to stop jaw popping and locking, let’s look at why you’re experiencing this issue.
Why is your jaw popping or locked up?
When your jaw pops or makes a clicking sound, possibly followed by pain, this could be temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD) or temporomandibular disorder (TMD) at play. If you are experiencing popping in your jaw without accompanying pain, it is typically not a cause for concern, however, it’s a good idea to know what is causing the problem nonetheless.
Many different factors can contribute to the issue, including:
Symptoms of jaw popping and locking can include a variety of issues, but some more common than others.
The most typical side effects are:
Discomfort and pain
Inability to open your mouth wide
Toothache, earache, and/or neck ache
Swelling in the face
Tenderness in your face, jaw, and neck
Locking, either in the closed or open positions
The 6 Best Ways to Stop Jaw Popping and Locking
Now that you have an idea of what is causing the issues with your jaw, as well as the symptoms you may experience, here are the 6 best ways to deal with it.
1. Watch Your Movements
If you start to notice your jaw popping and locking up, it’s vital that you don’t make any drastic movements with this part of your face. Meaning that you shouldn’t attempt to open your mouth wide or snap it shut. Doing this could cause further pain and damage.
2. Relieve Jaw Pressure
When you are able to, keep your teeth slightly apart. If you are someone who regularly clenches or grinds your teeth, it’s important to relax this area as much as possible to avoid further issues with your jaw.
3. Talk to a Professional
It can be intimidating to figure out which relaxation movements and techniques would be best for your personal situation. Consider speaking to a health professional, ideally a neuromuscular dentist like myself to discuss the best solutions for your jaw.
4. Work on Your Posture
Good posture can make a big difference for your entire body, even your jaw. Incorporating some basic exercises and testing your posture daily will help eliminate the pain in your jaw, teeth, face, and neck.
5. Watch What You Eat
Sticking to softer foods while avoiding extremely chewy or crunchy ones will make a big difference as well. Things like raw vegetables, caramel, chips, etc. can actually make the jaw popping and locking worse.
Consider eating foods like beans, cooked vegetables, yogurts, and smoothies over the harder options.
6. Consider a Professional, Long Lasting Treatment
Last but certainly not least, you should consider seeking treatment from a TMJ doctor like myself who can examine your jaw and help you decide the best solution for your jaw.
Solve Your Jaw Problems Today
If you are ready to stop jaw popping and locking issues, contact our TMJ dental office as soon as possible.
For those of you in the Chicago/Mt. Prospect area, TMJ dentist Dr. Tom Meyer can help to determine if your jaw popping is a cause of concern. Book a complimentary or a complete TMJ consult today.