Think Snoring is Not a Health Concern? Think Again

Think Snoring is Not a Health Concern? Think Again

For as long as anyone can remember, snoring has plagued the nights of countless sleepers across the globe.

Despite its reputation as merely being a nuisance, snoring can sometimes be a symptom of greater issues.

What are these issues and how can they be treated?

That’s what I’m here today to discuss. Here’s everything you should know about snoring’s greater health implications and how they can be treated by a sleep apnea dentist.

What Can Snoring Be a Sign Of?

Snoring can be more than just an annoying noise that prevents your spouse from falling asleep.

One of the most common problems that can provoke snoring is sleep apnea, which can be a potentially serious issue. It causes your breathing to repeatedly start and stop, often inducing snoring.

Sleep apnea comes in various forms.

  • Obstructive sleep apnea – This causes the throat muscles to relax.
  • Central sleep apnea – This occurs when the signals from your brain aren’t working correctly with the muscles that control your breathing.
  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome – This means you have both of the above forms working in tandem.

While anyone can develop sleep apnea, men are most prone. This is especially true for men over 40, overweight men, and men with a family history of Sleep Apnea disorder.

People with unusually sized tonsils, tongues, or jaws also have a higher risk of developing this condition. Other than snoring, it can also cause waking up with a dry mouth, morning headaches, and insomnia.

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Source: Gifer

Not everyone with sleep apnea snores, while not everyone that snores has sleep apnea.

Snoring may also be the result of obesity, allergies, and smoking. Therefore, even if you don’t have sleep apnea, it’s important to get your snoring checked out. Chances are, there’s some larger reason for it that should be pinpointed and taken care of.

Snoring isn’t always a long-term problem, it may be as simple as a side-effect of a medication you’re taking. Many common over-the-counter medicine and prescriptions are known to relax the throat muscles, which causes snoring.

What is the Best Sleep Apnea Treatment?

If you think you might have sleep apnea, I highly recommended making an appointment with us, as soon as possible.

Untreated sleep apnea can result in depression, diabetes, heart failure, and a number of other unsavory conditions.

On a personal level, the excessive snoring caused by sleep apnea can create tension in your personal life, as nobody wants to sleep next to a chronic snorer.

But you may be asking yourself, what’s the relationship between a sleep apnea and dentist?

That’s an easy one.

Oral Appliance

One of the most common snoring treatments are oral appliances. My team and I can provide you with a device suited specifically to fit your unique case.

Most devices are designed to shift the jaw and tongue, in order to open the throat and airways. These devices are to be worn while you sleep. Hence, you won’t have to worry about walking around with one on, which may be more uncomfortable emotionally than physically. These devices are designed to fit your jaw size, and be comfortable!oral slee appliance for snoring and sleep apnea

Surgery

Oral appliances are great for moderate cases of sleep apnea, but more extreme cases might require more elaborate treatments, such as surgery. The extensiveness of the surgeries varies on a case-to-case basis, but this is only if oral appliances and other methods don’t do the trick.

Changes in Sleeping Habit

Before getting oral appliances, you might even try changing your sleeping habits. Sleeping habits affect our day to day lives more than we acknowledge, sometimes altering your sleeping pattern can cure some of the less severe cases of sleeping apnea.

sleep-apnea-changes

Click here to read more about lifestyle changes for snorers and sleep apnea patients.

CPAP Machine

Another common sleep apnea treatment is a CPAP machine, which is an external device you wear while sleeping. It pumps air through your nose and, as a result, the air pressure keeps your respiratory system open for smooth breathing. A lot of patients find they wake up feeling better rested, and more refreshed after using a CPAP machine.

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We Believe… in Having the Best Sleep Possible

Sleep is precious.

It both relaxes us and energizes us.

For some of us, it might even be the best part of the day.

That’s why my team and I want to make sure your sleep remains just that: sleep.

No one wants to be constantly woken up at night, which can be more irritating than never falling asleep at all.

If you’re an excessive snorer, we can help evaluate your situation and find a solution specifically suited to your unique case.

Depending on how severe your case is, we can provide you with oral appliances that will help open up your airways and stop your snoring.

Snoring may seem like nothing more than a funny noise, but it can be a sign of a larger issue at hand, sometimes leading to long-term health problems . Before it reaches this point, come see us and we’ll take care of it.

Do you have any further questions regarding snoring or sleep apnea? Feel free to send us an email and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. We look forward to answering your questions!

Lifestyle Changes for Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Lifestyle Changes for Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Do you find yourself waking up multiple times throughout the night—jolted awake by your own snoring? Perhaps your partner has begrudgingly moved to another bedroom just to get away from your nightly sawing away.

Whatever your situation, if you are a snorer, don’t overlook it as a simple inconvenience. Snoring can be caused by a serious, and potentially fatal condition known as sleep apnea. A few simple lifestyle changes in conjunction to your treatment with a sleep apnea dentist like me can remedy your situation.

What is sleep apnea?

woman covering her ears from her husband's snoring

Over ten percent of all US adult men experience moderate to severe disorders in sleep breathing patterns. This usually manifests itself by nasty bouts of snoring. Commonly referred to as sleep apnea, incidences of this condition, unfortunately, are on the rise. This is largely due to an increase in obesity and generally unhealthy lifestyles. 

Sleep apnea isn’t just about not getting quality sleep

Of course, you’ll be a bit cranky the morning after a poor night’s sleep, but the damage to your health extends way beyond the missed hours of sleep. The disorder increases the risk of other chronic health conditions like:

  • cognitive dysfunction
  • high blood pressure
  • abnormalities in glucose metabolism
  • depression and anxiety
  • increase risk of death and reduce your quality of life.

In fact, cardiovascular disease is about twice as likely in people suffering from disruptive sleep apnea.

This condition is caused by a blockage of the airway during sleep. This typically happens when both the tongue and soft palate of the mouth collapse against the back of the throat. This prohibits any air from reaching the lungs, and can limit breathing ability in sleeping sufferers. Apnea is characterized by a delay in breathing for at least ten seconds, of fifteen episodes or more per hour. 

A diagram showing the cause of sleep apnea.

As a result, individuals suffering from sleep apnea cannot complete a satisfactory sleep cycle throughout the night. They are constantly awakened by their body’s automatic response system telling them that they are suffocating. Although these nightly wake-ups may not always be remembered the next morning, the body experiences fatigue by constant daytime sleepiness and other aforementioned medical conditions.

We believe… that lifestyle modifications can help treat your sleep apnea and snoring

If you suffer from sleep apnea and are a heavy snorer as a result, there are probably many lifestyle changes you should incorporate into your daily routine, in addition to treatment.

1. Weight Loss

Obesity is a common underlying factor in many sleep apnea patients. There is a 40% likelihood that an obese man (with a BMI of over 40 kg) will develop sleep apnea.

In fact, 60% of patients treated for sleep apnea are overweight or obese. Although the list of proven sleep apnea remedies include bariatric surgery, the first two lines of defense against sleep apnea would be maintaining a nutritious diet and regular exercise. This not only helps treat sleep apnea, but also related afflictions such as heart disease and diabetes.

2. Learn to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth

There are other options you can explore in treating or preventing sleep apnea. Learn to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth.

3. Visit an ENT specialist

Visit an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist to determine whether any unnatural nasal obstructions exist.

4. Avoid drinking and sleeping pills

Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and sedatives, including sleeping pills since these can all increase your likelihood of developing or worsening sleep apnea.

5. Try CPAP Therapy

CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy can also be used. It involves the use of a machinated fan that blows pressurized air into the airway and mouth of the patient.

Unfortunately, CPAP has some unpleasant side effects. These include congestion, claustrophobia, skin abrasions, and pink eye. As a result, many users stop using CPAP machines over time, making them a costly, and often ineffective, long-term solution.

A FURTHER GREAT OPTION: How an oral sleep appliance provides relief from snoring

Oral sleep appliances are custom-fitted for sleep apnea patients who cannot tolerate the CPAP therapy. Similar to a mouthguard, oral appliances can help move the jawbone and tongue forward, preventing the tongue from collapsing on the back of the throat.

They are specially fitted for your mouth and must be custom-made. Although they require nightly diligence on the part of the user in actually remembering to wear them, they present no adverse side effects and can be used long term.

Consider using an oral sleep appliance as one of your lifestyle changes for snoring 

Talk to Us!

Don’t delay sleep apnea treatment and consider using an oral sleep appliance so you can finally enjoy quality sleep.

Dr.Thomas Meyer, DDS, MICCMO – Dentist Mount Prospect

Call the Meyer Dental Group at 847-827-6290 to schedule a sleep apnea consultation today.

What’s the link between your dental health & sleep apnea?

What’s the link between your dental health & sleep apnea?

Is there a link between your teeth and your sleep? Most people think the only link is sore jaw muscles after a night of clenching or grinding their teeth.

However, your sleep – or lack thereof – can be linked to your oral health.

Do you wake up feeling exhausted? Do your family members complain about your snoring? You could very well have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common type of sleep apnea. And this is a condition that our sleep apnea Des Plaines dental office, Meyer Dental Group, can help withWhat is sleep apnea & should I really be concerned about a little bit of snoring?

People have been snoring since the beginning of time, and their spouses have been putting up with it for just as long. But no one really thought it can be serious until it was associated with sleep apnea.

Over the past few decades, obstructive sleep apnea has been gaining exposure as a potentially life-threatening condition.

What is sleep apnea?

This is a condition in which a person stops breathing multiple times throughout the night. Some patients have reported stopping up to thirty times per hour. Breathing cessation happens for at least ten seconds at a time.

When the brain realizes that it’s not getting enough oxygen, it comes out of its sleep cycle to force the person to start breathing again.

The result is a long night of interrupted sleep, and lack of oxygen to the brain and other organs.

Sleep apnea can lead to

  • High blood pressure
  • Weight gain
  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Increase risk of heart attack
  • Memory problems
  • Impotence
  • Attention problems
  • Behavioral issues
  • Increased risk of car accidents (tired driving)
  • For children, OSA can cause behaviour and emotional problems like ADHD as well as mental development problems which can affect school performance.

One in five adults have mild OSA. OSA is not just a bit of snoring. It should be treated right away to reduce the risk of disease.

A diagram showing the cause of sleep apnea.

A diagram showing the cause of sleep apnea.

How we can help with snoring & obstructive sleep apnea

It’s been estimated that around eighteen million people in the U.S. suffer from this condition. Detailed below is how we help our patients of all ages with sleep apnea.

  1. I start with a thorough exam in the office to determine if there’s an airway obstruction. I may also work in conjunction with your doctor and other medical specialists like a neurologist.
  2. I would then refer you to a board certified sleep specialist for a comprehensive sleep study. This gives me some valuable input regarding the severity of your sleep apnea.
  3. In many cases, I send patients home with a home sleep study monitor to screen for sleep apnea concerns.
  4. Once I have all the data, I evaluate whether the patient’s  tonsils and adenoids are causing an obstruction. For many children this is a big problem.  I  also evaluate the  jaw for crowding. This is how we can tell if orthodontic treatment or appliances can help treat crowding jaws.
  5. Lastly, I will prescribe a dental oral appliance to help open your airway.

The results I’ve seen: a better night’s sleep, less snoring, improved concentration and memory, and a refreshed feeling in the morning and a overall better mood.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Case Studies: How We Have Helped Des Plaines and Mount Prospect, Chicago Area Patients

Here are two case studies I would like to share with you that prove just how incredibly effective an oral appliance can be.

1. Forty-Three-Year-Old Male

A patient presented with chronic snoring and tiredness during daytime hours. My examination revealed that his tongue was blocking the back of his throat. After a comprehensive sleep study, he was diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea.

I prescribed an oral appliance that specifically treats snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

The result: The patient has stopped snoring. A follow-up study shows increased sleep efficiency and almost no respiratory disturbances. The patient’s energy levels have improved, too.

Comments: I feel so much better. It took me a little while to get used to the appliance but my energy is so much better. Thank you Dr. Meyer and team.” CL

2. Eight-Year-Old Female

It’s estimated by the American Academy of Family Physicians that three to twelve percent of children snore, and that one to ten percent of them have obstructive sleep apnea.

One of my patients, an eight year old girl, was brought into our office because of snoring. Her mother said it sounded like her daughter would stop breathing at night, too. Her concerns increased when her daughter started having a difficult time concentrating in school.

I did a thorough examination and found that this patient had crowded teeth and very enlarged tonsils and adenoids. She also had a history of recurrent strep throat.

I sent the patient to an ENT to remove her tonsils and adenoids.  I then  gave her a special oral appliance to expand her upper and lower jaw.

The result: Snoring is almost completely eliminated, better sleep, and improved focus at school.

Comments: “I cannot believe how well she is doing and the best part about it she doesn’t get strep throat anymore with many trips to the doctor. Thank you so much.”

We believe… that you deserve the best.

Have you been diagnosed with sleep apnea? If you have this condition, or suspect that you do, I welcome you to come in for a sleep apnea consultation. My team and I can help you have a good night’s sleep, stop snoring, and have increased energy.

If you are not yet ready to come in for a sleep apnea consultation, take our Sleep Questionnaire. Submit your answers and we will respond shortly with recommendations.

 

Dr.Thomas Meyer, DDS, MICCMO – Sleep Apnea Dentist Des Plaines

Do you feel exhausted in the morning? Does your family complain about your snoring? Contact us today  for more information about our sleep apnea appliance. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll start getting a better night’s sleep.

Sleep better in Mount Prospect

Sleep better in Mount Prospect

How can a “sleep dentist” help you sleep better?

Do you often feel sluggish and unrefreshed when you wake up in the morning, even after a full night of rest? Has your sleep partner ever complained that you snore loudly or awaken gasping for air throughout the night? Do you suffer from headaches nearly every morning or struggle to stay awake during the day?

These are all indications that you may have a chronic snoring problem and/or sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder. If you can answer yes to two or more of these questions, read on to learn how Mount Prospect dentist Dr Thomas Meyer may be able to help you sleep better.

What is sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious disorder that causes the sufferer to stop breathing several times per hour for seconds to minutes during each apneic event. This perpetual disruption of restful sleep can lead to a deep and lingering fatigue that can affect your overall health and physical well-being.

How can snoring or sleep apnea impact the quality of your sleep?

If snoring and/or sleep apnea are preventing you from getting the deep, refreshing rest your body needs, it can impact the quality of your sleep, as well as your health. These are just a few of the signs and symptoms sufferers commonly experience:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Short term memory loss
  • Irritability and mood changes
  • Weight gain
  • Relationship problems
  • Falling asleep at inappropriate times during the day
  • Headaches

How can a dental treatment help you get better rest?

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you may be familiar with the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device, or CPAP. Although an effective treatment for those with moderate to severe sleep apnea, some patients find it noisy and uncomfortable to wear.

If you would like to learn more about dental alternatives to CPAP, contact Dr. Tom Meyer of Meyer Dental to schedule a consultation or appointment. Our snoring devices are very comfortable and only need to be worn when you sleep. They are custom-fitted and designed to help keep your tongue in a forward position so that it doesn’t fall back into your throat and block your airway while you sleep.

Sleep disorders and your health in Des Plaines

Sleep disorders and your health in Des Plaines

3 ways a sleep disorder can affect your health

A sleep disorder that goes untreated can cause chronic fatigue, which can cause problems with your job, your personal relationships and even create safety risks. Some people avoid treatment and think they can live with a sleep disorder. If you have a sleep disorder, however, we believe you should know that getting treatment can improve several aspects of your life, including your physical and emotional health.

1. Chronic fatigue

Chronic fatigue is a constant feeling of being tired for no apparent reason. If you are getting around 8 hours of sleep every night but still feel tired during the day, this may be a sign of a sleep disorder like sleep apnea. Chronic fatigue can make you feel tired mentally or physically, and it may even make you feel physically weak.

2. Emotional and attitude problems that result from fatigue

When you are always tired, you are more likely to be short-tempered and generally unhappy. Your attitude can have an effect on your relationships both in your personal life and at work. Relationship problems can, in turn, lead to more emotional stress and lost sleep.

3. Depressive symptoms

Chronic health and emotional problems can cause depression and related symptoms. People with symptoms of depression feel sad, have trouble sleeping or sleep too much and generally have little interest in activities they previous enjoyed.

There are treatments for your sleep disorder

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder. It is primarily due a blockage of the air passageways, which can be caused by tissue at the back of the throat or by the tongue falling back. The most common sleep apnea treatment prescribed by doctors is CPAP, a machine that forces air through a mask that you wear over your nose and mouth.

While CPAP is an effective treatment, many people find wearing the mask to be uncomfortable. An alternative treatment comes from a dentist. It is a dental appliance for sleep that gently keeps your mouth and jaws in optimal position for the free passage of air.

Find out more about dental treatment for sleep apnea

If you suffer from a sleep disorder or think that you might, contact our Des Plaines dentist for a consultation appointment to talk about dental sleep disorder treatment. While sleep disorders must be diagnosed by a medical doctor, treatment may be prescribed by a doctor or a dental professional. Dental treatment for sleep is comfortable, portable and may be the solution you’ve been looking for.

Causes of Arlington Heights sleep disorders

Causes of Arlington Heights sleep disorders

3 SURPRISING CAUSES OF ARLINGTON HEIGHTS SLEEP DISORDERS

Sleep disorders cause millions of people to suffer from the ill effects of poor sleep.

  • Chronic fatigue
  • poor concentration
  • irritability
  • job performance issues
  • relationship problems
  • safety risks

are some of the effects of a sleep disorder. Causes of sleep disorders are varied, and some are surprising. Here are three causes of sleep disorders that you might not expect.

1. Genetics

Sleep disorders can be inherited. If your father snored, you might too, especially if you are male. Men are more likely to have sleep disorders like sleep apnea than women, and some physical characteristic make you more susceptible.

People with:

  • sinus problems
  • large tonsils
  • a thick neck
  • a small jawbone

are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea and snoring. If you have a hereditary sleep disorder or one that is caused by your physical makeup, it can still be treated.

2. Medications

If you are having sleeping problems that seemed to begin after you started taking a certain medication, it could be more than just a side effect. While many medications make you drowsy and others may keep you awake, some medications have been linked to sleep apnea.

Antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) are in this group, and these include some commonly prescribed medications like Celexa, Prozac and Zoloft.

Other medications that are associated with sleep disorders include:

  • certain high blood pressure medications
  • oral contraceptives
  • steroids
  • medications for attention deficit disorder
  • diet pills
  • some inhaled respiratory drugs.

3. Jaw injury

An injury to the jaw can cause a surprising amount of symptoms throughout your head, neck and spine, and it can also interfere with your sleep. Many people suffer silently from a common jaw disorder called temporomandibular joint or TMJ disorder. The connection between the jaws and the neurological system is well known by dentists, but often overlooked by others.

Jaw disorder treatment from a dentist can often resolve sleep disorder problems caused by:

  • injury
  • TMJ disorder
  • a misaligned bite
  • other dental problems that put pressure on the jaws.

By the jaw problem, pain and associated snoring or sleep disorders can often be relieved.

Find a solution

If you have trouble sleeping, if you snore or if you suffer from:

  • daytime fatigue
  • irritability
  • headaches
  • muscle aches
  • difficulty concentrating

you may have a sleep disorder.

We believe that no one should have to suffer from the effects of a poor night’s sleep, and we are here to discuss sleep problems with you and help you to find a solution. If you would like to learn more about causes of sleep disorders and treatment options, call your Arlington Heights dentist to set up an appointment.