Snoring is annoying, but it can sometimes be a sign of a more serious problem: sleep apnea. This common sleep disorder can disrupt both you and your loved one’s rest and trigger a cascade of health problems, ranging from daytime fatigue to an increased risk of heart disease. Dr. Kenneth Coffey offers conservative therapies at his Chicago, IL-area practice to alleviate these effects. Often, a simple oral appliance can help you sleep more peacefully throughout the night.
Sleep apnea is a disorder which causes breathing to stop momentarily throughout the night. These cessations can occur as often as thirty times an hour. The episodes cause sufferers to wake up briefly, so their sleep is interrupted again and again. This lack of quality sleep can lead to a myriad of problems during their waking hours.
There are three different types of sleep apnea:
Dentists can only provide intervention for obstructive sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea requires the attention of a specialist.
In addition to snoring, obstructive sleep apnea is associated with a number of common symptoms:
If you report any of these symptoms, Dr. Coffey may refer you to a sleep specialist. The doctor can perform a sleep study or provide you with a home sleep test to confirm the diagnosis.
Once you receive a diagnosis, you can return to our office to discuss available treatment options.
This simple customized device fits over the teeth and keeps the throat open at night by bringing the jaw forward. It is usually recommended for patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, relies on a mask which delivers air to keep the upper airways open. Although it produces the most reliable results, sleeping with a mask can be uncomfortable and patient compliance is relatively low. Sometimes, this option is combined with an oral appliance.
Often, a simple oral appliance can help you sleep more peacefully throughout the night.
In more severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea, the doctor can refer you to a specialist for the surgical removal of tissue blocking the airway or for repositioning of the jaw. Depending on the specific cause of your sleep apnea, weight loss or treatment for TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder can also alleviate symptoms.
Untreated sleep apnea can have a lasting impact on your health and well-being. If you suspect you may suffer from the condition, call our office at (708) 403-7888 or reach out online to set up a consultation with Dr. Coffey and his team.
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