Thursday, April 30, 2009

How Snoring Occurs

Snoring occurs when the air passages at the back of the mouth and nose do not have a free flow of air. Obstruction of the airways usually occurs when the soft tissues in that area collapse during sleep, causing the tongue to meet briefly with the soft palate (top part of your mouth in the back) and the uvula (the hanging bell-shaped tissue in the back of your throat). The vibrations are what cause the actual sound of snoring.

Snorers may also suffer from:

Poor oral muscle tone. Relaxed tongue and throat muscles can cut off airflow. Deep sleep, alcohol and sleep medications can contribute to poor muscle tone.
Large tonsils and adenoids. Excess throat tissue can cause snoring. Being overweight can cause excess neck tissue, which is why snoring is more common in overweight individuals.
Long uvula and/or soft palate. Individuals with a long palate have a narrower opening between the nose and throat that can create noise during the relaxed breathing of deep sleep. A longer than normal uvula worsens the situation.
Nasal airway obstruction. Stuffy noses do not have a free flow of air. The extra effort it takes to breathe through a stuffed up nose creates a strong pull on floppy throat tissues, causing a snoring sound. That is why some people experience snoring only during hay fever attacks, a cold or a sinus infection.
Nose or nasal septum deformities, such as a deviated septum, can cause obstruction.

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

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.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a very common and very serious medical condition in which the sufferer experiences stoppages in breathing while he/she sleeps. People with sleep apnea may stop breathing for several seconds hundreds of time throughout the night. Needless to say, this condition can have some very serious side effects on the mind and body including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Short-term memory problems
  • Memory problems
  • Attention problems
  • Dry mouth
  • Diabetes
  • Sore throat

We have become very well-known for our saying, "I hate CPAP," but, in actuality, we don't really hate CPAP; we just realize that it's terribly uncomfortable and inconvenient for the patient. For this reason, we provide our patients with a variety of treatment options for sleep apnea that are much more pleasant than CPAP. It is estimated that a very low percentage of people using CPAP actually tolerate it as directed. Some of the other sleep apnea treatments Dr. Ira Shapira, Gurnee, Illinois dentist and his patients have had great success with include:

  • Use of dental appliances
  • Behavior modification
  • Medication
  • Surgery

After a thorough evaluation, Dr. Shapira will discuss with you which treatment plan would be best for your needs and the severity of your case.

To learn more about treatments for sleep apnea, please visit the website of I Hate CPAP! today. Cosmetic dentist, Dr. Ira Shapira, and his dental team in Gurnee, Illinois will work hard to find the right treatment for you.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a very serious, life-threatening condition in which one repeatedly stops breathing during sleep. The periods of not breathing can last several seconds, leaving you gasping for air, and sleep apneaics may have hundreds of these episodes during one night.

There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea, and a combination of the two. OSA is caused by a blockage of your airway; excess tissue may be the cause of this blockage. The blockage could be in the nasal passages, or something related to the structure of the jaw and airway may also cause the sleep apnea.

Central sleep apnea is not as common as obstructive sleep apnea. In CSA, the brain does not send the appropriate signals to the breathing muscles to produce respiration.

The causes of sleep apnea are numerous and may include:

  • Structural problems in the airway that cause interrupted breathing during sleep
  • Throat muscles and tongue relax during sleep blocking the airway
  • Narrowing of the airway often occurs in obese individuals due to the excess tissue in the throat and neck areas

Some people are more prone to suffer from sleep apnea than others. A staggering 15 million people are estimated to suffer from this condition with more men than women having the condition. People who are overweight, have hypertension (high blood pressure) or snore loudly are at a greater risk of developing sleep apnea. Some studies indicate that the disorder may be hereditary.

There are a variety of treatments for sleep apnea, and treatment for sleep apneaics varies from case to case. In the past, CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) has been used but because you must actually wear a mask while you sleep. The CPAP machine uses pressure to send air flowing through the nasal passages. Other treatments for sleep apnea include:

  • Oral appliances
  • Behavioral changes
  • Medication
  • Surgery

If you think you may suffer from sleep apnea, there is help out there for you. In Gurnee, Illinois, Dr. Ira Shapira has successfully treated thousands of sleep apneaics, and he can help you, too. Please contact The Snoring & Sleep Apnea Treatment Center in Gurnee today to schedule an evaluation.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sleep Better with PureSleep

A new anti-snoring device has received the FDA's seal of approval and is providing countless Americans with more restful nights of sleep without constantly waking up throughout the night. PureSleep is the latest FDA-approved dental device designed to reduce (or eliminate altogether) snoring.

Invented in 1995, this device, which requires no prescription, can be used in adults over age 18 who have been:

-Diagnosed with sleep apnea
-Diagnosed with a respiratory disorder
-have loose teeth
-Have oral abscesses
-Have gingivitis
-Have Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)
-Have full dentures

Sleep apnea is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition in which the person stops breathing repeatedly while he sleeps. Sleep apenaics may stop breathing several hundred times a night. This condition can lead to high blood pressure, depression, and a host of other serious conditions.

The PureSleep dental device is a 'boil and bite' mouthpiece very similar to the type athletes wear. It reduces or eliminates snoring by holding your lower jaw slightly forward of its normal position. This widens the airway so air isn't forced through such a narrow opening. PureSleep, by opening your airway, eliminates the vibrations we call snoring and allows you a much better night's sleep.

If you suffer from sleep apnea and/or a chronic snorer, please contact the Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment Center in Gurnee, Illinois today.