Our dentists at Premier Orthodontics & Dental Specialists are medical professionals trained to recognize symptoms and provide therapeutic care for sleep apnea in children and adults. When evaluating a patient for orthodontic treatment from our offices in Elmhurst, IL, or Downers Grove, IL, our dentists can identify an airway obstruction issue that could contribute to sleep apnea concerns.
Sleep apnea symptoms in children and adults mimic one another closely in that there are frequent awakenings throughout the night for various reasons. These awakenings can be caused by snoring, gasping, choking, or temporary pauses in breathing. In adults, waking with headaches in the morning is quite common, and in children, you may notice unusual sleeping positions (such as hanging their head off the pillow or the side of the bed).
Some other common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious condition that affects over 22 million Americans a year and is frequently caused by an airway obstruction (such as the jaw’s structural anatomy). Treatments may include orthodontics to adjust the horizontal relationship between the upper and lower jaws to promote a bigger airway.
Because each patient is unique, each will have their reason that they are experiencing sleep apnea. You can rest assured that our dentists at Premier Orthodontics & Dental Specialists will spend the time needed to understand each patient’s reason for experiencing the disorder and refer you to a sleep specialist when required.
For example, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can result from multiple factors such as varied airway size, the degree to which the muscles around the throat relax, or even the size of a patient’s tonsils. Our dentists at Premier Orthodontics & Dental Specialists are here to help you understand the correlation between sleep apnea and orthodontics.
What You Can Do at Home
Mild sleep apnea can be treated at home with simple lifestyle changes.
Excess weight is one of the most common reasons for sleep apnea. Losing weight by diet control and regular exercise will reduce excess tissue near the throat, making it easier to breathe.
Try to avoid alcohol just before bedtime. Avoid sleeping pills or sedatives as they can relax the muscles in your throat, causing airway difficulty.
Avoid sleeping on your back and try to sleep in a side position. Side sleeping will reduce obstruction in your throat.
Regular sleep schedule
Many adults do not get seven hours of sleep every night. Lack of sleep can lead to numerous health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and heart conditions. Obstruction caused due to sleep apnea is one of the major causes of lack of sleep. It can wake you up at night repeatedly, leading to tiredness. Try to get adequate sleep each night and avoid sleep deprivation.
Get treatment for any nasal conditions
Anything that prevents breathing through the nose can cause sleep apnea, such as a deviated nasal septum or nasal polyps. If you have any such conditions, contact your doctor to get treatment immediately.
Sleep apnea is often confused with snoring at night. However, sleep apnea involves short periods when a person stops breathing. Hence, it is important to seek medical attention immediately for sleep apnea treatment near you. Talk to our dentist today if you want to discuss sleep apnea treatment in Elmhurst and Downers Grove, IL.
If any of the above lifestyle changes do not improve sleep apnea, or if the sleep apnea is moderate to severe, other therapies are recommended, such as:
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
CPAP is the main and highly effective treatment for sleep apnea. It delivers a steady stream of air that is delivered through a mask worn over your nose. It gently keeps your airway open and reduces snoring.
Oral appliances such as mouthguards are recommended for mild to moderate sleep apnea. They are designed to keep your throat open, making it easier to breathe. It is usually worn during sleep and easy to incorporate into your lifestyle.
Surgery is recommended to correct issues such as a deviated septum, enlarged tonsils and adenoids, and excess tissue in the back of the throat and palate.
With appropriate therapy, sleep apnea can be successfully treated. Talk to us today to find out about the options available to you for sleep apnea treatment in Elmhurst, 60126, and Downers Grove, 60515.
If you’d like to learn more about the relationship between orthodontics and obstructive sleep apnea, we invite you to make an appointment using our convenient online booking tool or calling our Elmhurst, IL, or Downers Grove, IL, location today.