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

Dr. Tom MeyerBlog, Sleep0 Comments

An image of a couple, one with sleep apnea. This patient should see Dr. Meyer, sleep apnea des plaines dentist in Des Plaines.

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.