Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Treatments for Sleep Apnea

There are now several treatments available for the condition known as sleep apnea. The three Dr. Ira Shapira, cosmetic dentist in Gurnee, Illinois has found great success with are dental appliances, medication, and surgery.

Most dental appliances are made from acrylic and fit inside your mouth like an athletic mouth guard or braces. Some appliances fit around your head and chin to help reposition your lower jaw. All dental appliances are designed to open your airway, bringing your jaw or tongue forward during sleep to reduce obstruction. Unfortunately, individuals suffering from more severe forms of sleep apnea cannot find relief with these devices.

Side effects from dental appliances include:

  • Mouth soreness
  • Permanent changes or damage to the jaw, teeth, or mouth
  • Build up of saliva
  • Nausea

Specialized medication may help curb the effects of sleep apnea or complement more aggressive treatment options when taken before bedtime. Natural plant enzymes and herbs reduce congestion and swelling in the nose and throat and minimize snoring. Special nose drops or nasal sprays, and aromatherapy, have proven beneficial.

Surgery can increase airway size by surgically removing excess tissue inside the nose or back of the throat, and may include the removal of tonsils and adenoids. The jaw may be reconstructed to enlarge the upper airway. Surgery certainly carries risks, but for some, this is the best option.

To learn more about snoring and sleep apnea, please contact sleep apnea/snoring dentist Dr. Ira L. Shapira in Gurnee, Illinois today to schedule your initial consultation.

posted by Evan Langsted at 8:23 AM